Last year as we studied Texas history, we covered the Age of Exploration again, but this time it was explorers you only tend to cover for Texas history. I wanted a fun way to review all we’d learned before and in my explorations, I found a great Age of Exploration printable game.
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Supplies for the game
Age of Exploration printable game (when we played it, I had bought a game, this game is no longer for sale, so I’ve made my own version that is based on it, but is changed), 1 6-sided die per player, pencil
Quick side note, we played this for our 7th grade Texas history lessons, this was originally created for a 4th grade Texas history lesson.
Playing the Age of Exploration game
Now, I obviously don’t want to give too much away, because the concept of the game is fairly simple.
But, everyone starts out in Europe trying to get funding. At each location, you roll your die and follow the results.
The Age of Exploration game includes a sheet for you to write down your results. Your goal is to get to the New World before you roll the die 20 times. Otherwise, your mission was a failure.
Playing the game itself is fairly quick. I think the longest round of the Age of Exploration printable game lasted was 10 minutes. Most were about five minutes. There was a lot of blown off course, or low on supplies try to head back rolled.
Of the many games we played, most did not end up exploring where they intended. This is fairly accurate if you look at many of the first explorers, they got lost fairly often and rarely landed where they originally intended.
What to do after you play the Age of Exploration printable game
In the game, there are actually several recommendations, but the one we used was to create a diary based on our results. They had to choose five events they rolled, they could be any five and did not have to be in a row. This was to help the poor kid who rolled stuck at sea five times in a row.
They were to use those five results to write out five different diary entries. Depending on how long you want the writing assignment to last was how long you might take.
For the purposes of our assignment, I only wanted at least two sentences per diary entry. This is similar to our Marco Polo journals, where I required a paragraph per diary entry.
All told, it made for a great review and after playing her first dice game, I went and bought several more to use later in the year. They’re quite ingenious and I would love to make some of my own for different historical periods.
Having fun with the Age of Exploration and want to go further?
- Age of Exploration pretend play
- How to make a quadrant
- Age of Exploration books
- How do ocean currents work
- Measuring the size of Columbus’ ships
This was originally published September 27, 2018 and was updated with new graphics and also the link since the original game doesn’t exist