Tribal Survival


Olga West
Tom March

Instructional Objective The learner shall be able to identify how different situations affect the food, shelter, and clothing sources of a culture. The learner will determine if the situation applies to his/her culture.


Learners/Context The learners are students grades 6 and up. These students will have studied different cultures and the situations that affect their survival. The situations could be natural or man made situations.


Rationale A board game format allows the learners to use the information in a hands on situation. Instead of just discussing how situations affect cultures and their basic supplies, they will use the information and create a discussion in a game situation. The board game provides a means for which the students will discuss the cultures and its components.

The learners will preserve their own culture as well as trade and have contact with other cultures. This board game allows students to get what is needed in his/her culture without destroying another culture. This game hopes to teach how cultures should work together.


Rules with

Strategy & Explanations The game is played in the following manner:

1. There are four players or teams. Each player will choose a culture card. This will tell the name of the culture, its location, climate, what food, housing, clothing, and craft that they use. This card should be turned face up near your area where you or any other player may see it. Take the appropriate culture figure and place it on the map provided.

2. Each player will roll the die to determine the number of tokens they will receive for each category. The players should roll once to determine the number of tokens for housing, once for clothing, and once for food. This will allow the game to be different each time it is played. Also, it represents what a true situation may be like. Not all people have equal amounts of "stuff".

* The players will take all of one craft. The craft tokens are represented by the solid colored beans. There are six in all. All other tokens are put into the kitty.

* Housing, food, and clothing are represented by the pinto beans.

* The crafts are represented by the solid colored beans (black, red, pink, and white).

3. Separate the category cards and lay face down on the card holder. (Do not shuffle the culture cards into the pile. Each player may keep these for reference.)

4. To start the play, roll the die and the player with the highest number plays first. Then the players will take turns going clockwise.

5. Roll the die and move the number of spaces. You will have to pass each culture's home. However, you may choose any path to do so.

6. Declare the category of your choice - Food, Clothing, or Housing.

7 Draw a card from the category you declared and read the situation. If the situation affects your culture, do what it says. If you do not know, discuss it with the other players. Outside sources may be used to settle disputes. There is also an answer key to assist you.

* If you need to take tokens, take them from the kitty.

* If you lose tokens, put them in the kitty.

* If it does not affect you, place the card under the pile.

* If you pass another culture's home, take one of their crafts. You only need to do this once.

* The first culture to have 10 tokens in each category and 1 craft token from the other three cultures wins the game .

8. If you land on trade, you may trade with any culture. This can be an even trade or an uneven trade depending on what the two players decide. If nobody wants to trade with you, you can not trade.

9. If you land on a technology, choose a technology card. This will tell you what to do. You may move and then choose a category card of your choice. The technology card is to advance you in the game.

10. If you land on the same space as another tribe, then you choose a contact card. This will tell what has happened when you contacted this tribe. You may lose or gain from this contact.


Simple Rules The game is played in the following manner:

1. Each player or team (up to 4) chooses a culture card.

2. Place the figure for your culture card on the home space of the appropriate map.

3. Roll the die for the number of tokens you will receive for clothing, food, and housing. You roll once for each category. Place these tokens in the appropriate storage area. Place the rest of the tokens in the kitty along side the board. The tokens are pinto beans.

4. Take all the crafts for your culture and place in your storage area. A craft is represented by a set of 6 colored beans.

5. Separate the category cards and place them face down beside the board.

6. Roll the die. The player with the highest number starts the game.

7. The player rolls the die and moves in any direction. You must pass each culture to collect the craft.

8. The player declares which category he/she wants to choose. The player then chooses the card and reads the situation out loud.

9. The player then decides if the situation card affects his/her culture. If it does, add or subtract that amount from your storage. If not, place the card under the pile.

10. Proceed clockwise. Repeat steps 7, 8, & 9.

11. You need to get 10 tokens in the housing, food, and clothing category and 1 craft token from each culture to win the game.


Special Plays Technology Cards

When a player lands on this space, the player draws this card. The player advances or returns his/her culture figure the number of spaces. The player may then choose a category card of his/her choice. The purpose is to advance the player more rapidly along the board.

Trade Spaces

When a player lands on the trade space, he/she may try to trade with any other culture. The player needs to negotiate a trade. It can be an even trade or a trade of 2 for 1, etc. A trade does not have to take place.

Contact Cards

A contact card is chosen when one player lands on a space that is already occupied by another player. The player that moved onto the space chooses a contact card. This card will tell if the contact from the other culture was positive or negative. The player will do as the card says.


Board & Pieces This board game uses:

1. a board.

2. 50 situation cards.

3. 4 culture cards

4. 4 culture figures

5. Pinto beans as tokens for each category of housing, food, and clothing.

6. 6 Red, 6 pink, 6 black, and 6 white beans to represent the craft tokens


Design Process We started with the idea of a board game using different cultures and what they needed in the way of housing, food, transportation, clothing, and entertainment. We wanted then to have to acquire these elements in order to win the game. However, we wanted there to be interaction between players. From this, the trade / technology cards were developed and the sharing aspect was added.

We considered the multicultural approach in our board game. We originally started with a general culture that was a stereotype. Then we decided that we should choose four distinctly different and true cultures of the past/present. This would broaden the students knowledge.

A variety of cultures were researched. We wanted four that were different yet had several common traits. We finally chose the Inuits, the Aymaras, the Zulus, and the Ojibwes. All four represent native cultures. They are not the cultures commonly known yet there is enough information to create the game.

The original board was created with four cultures, one in each corner of the board. From the cultures, the trade/technology spaces advanced to the center of the board where the river ran in a circular pattern (like a moat). The players would then progress to the river where they would not move. There was very little player movement in the game which may get boring or seem useless to have the figures at all. It was then suggested that the river run from one side to the other . Once the players get to the river, they needed to move to the other cultures to trade. The trade/technology cards would tell how many spaces they could travel. This would add difficulty to the game.

The tokens to represent the categories caused some problems. Looking at game stores, fabric stores, and hobby stores, nothing was found. Beans were chosen for the food token since several cultures used this as a food source. Buttons represent the clothing since most student understand that buttons are used on clothes. Cubes were used for housing since blocks are used for some houses.

The cards were created with situations that would affect one, several, or all the cultures. The situations would affect your culture by adding to your stockpile or taking away from your stockpile. There was the chance that you would have to add 2, add 1, minus 1, or minus 2 tokens.

The first run through resulted in a status quo. The cultures were receiving and giving up at a constant rate. The cards then were changed so that there were no minus 2s, and more positive cards. This made the game easier. More tokens were collected. However, very little trade occurred because the cultures never got to the river. More trade/technology cards were then added. The spaces that they needed to travel was also reduced to 3. More trade occurred. However, sharing never took place. Another change was made. The cultures started with only one token of each instead of two. The game seemed to progress smoother.

The game was played in class. Some suggestions for improvement included:

* standardizing the vocabulary on the category cards and on the culture cards. For example, one card may have said leather and the other may have said hides. These mean the same type of clothing yet caused confusion to the players.

* giving information such as the climate and location on the culture cards. This would make it easier to determine if category cards affected the cultures or not. Am I affected by cold weather, snow?

After playing the game with several audiences, we realized that the game needed more movement and motivation. It needed something more.

We dropped the sharing. We made a path where the players had to move. They needed to travel to each culture to get their craft. Along the way, they needed to collect food, clothing, and housing for their own culture. Upon receiving 10 of each plus the needed craft from the other cultures, they would win the game.

Trade spaces were added. These took the place of the cards. If the player landed on the trade space, then the player could negotiate a trade with any other player. This may be an even trade or 2 for 1, etc. A trade may not take place at all if the other players are unwilling to make a trade.

Technology spaces were added. When a player lands on this space, a technology card is chosen. This card lets the player advance more rapidly to the next destination. The player can also draw a category card when a regular space is reached. There are some negative technology cards.

Each play was also limited to only the player rolling the die. This made it more individual. It was also less confusing. The other players are still motivated to watch and read to determine if the situation the other players read really does or does not apply to them. Other players may challenge the player whose turn it is.

The final version is more of a game with education in mind. It still has movement, challenge, strategy, with the learning and/or reinforcement aspect.

A final thought in the design process: In order to make the production of a board game less complicated, consider how it will be produced before you start designing. The size of the board will determine the cost and the ease of production. A suggested board size would be 21 x 16 inches. This will allow you to make 2 - 11 x 17copies. A board exactly 11 x 17 should not be designed because the copies leave a border of about 1/4 of an inch. If by chance you need special service, Classic Reprographics at 5th & Grape in San Diego can provide it. They can provide other services which Kinkos and the like can not.


References Hodgson, B. (1992, October). Hard harvest on the bering sea. National Geographic, pp. 72-103.

Morrison, M. (1987). Indians of the andes. Vero Beach, FL: Rourke.

Ngubane, H. (1987). Zulus of southern africa. Vero Beach, FL: Rourke.

Smith, J.H.G. (1987). Eskimos : the inuit of the arctic. Vero Beach, FL: Rourke.

Stan, S. (1989). The ojibwe. Vero Beach, FL: Rourke.


Board Design