7th Graders Battle The Plague

Bubonic Plague BANN

The 7th graders at MAMS recently completed a unit about the Bubonic Plague in Mr. Chris Etter’s Social Studies classes. To provide an opportunity for his students to understand the random spread of the disease and the effect it had on society, the 7th graders played a card game that simulated the devastation of The Plague. The classroom was divided into four European cities and each city was assigned a noble and a merchant who had some extra privileges. One student described the experience in her own words:

“In Mr. Etter’s Social Studies class, we played a game called The Bubonic Plague card game, otherwise known as The Black Death card game. The goal of the game was to try to survive and make the most money out of everyone else. In each round, or year, Mr. Etter gave instructions telling us to pass a card to someone or get a card from the pile. We were trying NOT to get a Joker card. During the game Mr. Etter acted as the grim reaper. At the end of each round, the grim reaper would come around to each person and see if they had a joker in their hand. If they did have a joker in their hand of cards, they died and went to the cemetery. I died on the first round due to having a joker card. I think that it was fun, because it was different. It’s always fun to try something new.” – Kaydance

At the end of the four rounds, 50-60% of each class ended up in the cemetery. This is the exact percentage of how many people died of the Bubonic Plague! The classes discussed the impact this drastic decline in population had upon jobs, food, and economy. They also shared how they felt nervous, anxious, fearful of being stuck with a Joker; which were some of the same emotions people felt during the time of the Plague; they never knew who would died next. Mr. Etter had students imagine how losing 50% of their classmates in the next four years would affect their years at MAHS. The 7th graders committed to avoid flea-infected rats so they can all graduate together in 2023!

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