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The 14th century provides us with two opposing images: on the one hand a dazzling time of crusades and castles, cathedrals and chivalry and exquisitely illuminated books and tapestries; on the other hand, an age of ferocity, suffering and spiritual agony. This was a time of the bubonic plague that was so lethal that historians estimate that by mid-century it had killed nearly one-third of Europe. Bands of outlaws terrorized the countryside from France to Italy. The so-called Hundred Years War between England and France, a conflict of epic brutality seemed to have no end. Even the code of chivalry was challenged by new weapons, tactics and knightly stupidity. Peasant revolts swept across France and the rest of the continent arousing panic and ruthless repression from the nobility. A papal schism split the Catholic Church with Pope and anti-Pope excommunicating each other and their followers. But this was also a century that also brought us Chaucer and Petrarch, Froissart and Wyclif; the Sorbonne and Oxford; and glorious tournaments and processions.
This board game provides students with an experiential learning experience that places them in the precarious position of living in France during around the year 1358. Whether a poor peasant or a powerful lord; whether a common soldier or a mighty knight; whether a skilled builder or a humble monk; or whether a great lady or a young squire; each person was vulnerable and had much to fear from the world in this dangerous century. Depending on their role they will have to navigate through poor or nearly non-existent food, hard and monotonous work, inhospitable and unsanitary shelter, the likelihood of wanton and capricious violence, blatantly unfair laws and religious prejudice; and the ever present potential of deadly disease—especially the so-called “Black Death.”
Included in the game packet is a background essay for students and teachers, student role sheets, a game board, fortune cards, discussion questions and extension activities to expand the experience.. The teacher will need to provide dice to determine movement on the game board.
Thank you very much for purchasing this lesson. I would greatly appreciate any feedback and hopefully a favorable review.