The entire Marco Polo’s Silk Road game has been redesigned in July 2021. It is the same great game, but with clearer instructions, a beautiful board, new artwork, more teacher tips, basic historical background, an annotated picture book list for teachers, additional learning activity ideas, and six educational worksheets.
Teach about Marco Polo, historical Europe to Asia trade routes, ancient civilizations, and the dangers and difficulties of medieval travel with a simulation game. Players make choices about what to trade for along historic trade routes, take a “chance” in the dangerous desert, and must plan ahead for food.
Included in the zip file are the following files:
- Start Here pages to help you find your way. This includes detailed rules for a teacher, set-up tips, game play tips, basic historical information, an annotated picture book list, activity ideas, and seven student pages for further learning.
- A gameboard folder with six gameboard options (3 sizes, available in both full color and less ink versions)
- Game pieces to print (*if you do not want to find small objects, you can print these 20 pages instead)
- Two “quick start” rules in trifold brochure format (with and without the passport playing option)
- “Take a chance” cards (for when you “take a chance” by landing in the desert)
Perfect for both homeschooling settings and for classrooms, the Marco Polo Silk Road game provides children with an entertaining way of learning about Marco Polo, ancient civilizations and historical trade routes, and the difficulties and dangers travelers would have faced along the way.
If you decide to implement the hands-on alternatives (fabric scraps to represent silk and raisins or another small food for the required “food” allowance, for example) your kids will beg to play some more! It is fun for young children and older children alike.
This game introduces the following concepts:
- Marco Polo traveled through mountains and deserts to get to China. (In our game, we return via the same route; Marco Polo returned a different way).
- A paiza (golden passport given to Marco Polo’s father from the emperor of China) provided the travelers a degree of protection from Mongol warriors and gave the travelers hospitality in caravansaries along the way.
- Silk and porcelain from China were worth a lot in Venice.
- Other places on the trade route provided Europe with tin, rugs, and jade.
- Between Italy and China are many mountains and deserts.
- Preparation is required before entering a desert, and traveling through the desert is taking a chance.
NOTE: This work may be used for one classroom or teacher’s use only. If you wish to share it with a friend, please purchase an additional license. Make sure you come back and review this resource in order to get points for future purchases.