Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

DIY Zombie- Apocalyptic Summer Learning Camp, Phase I, part D: Zombies Attack!

Now that your students have found out a bit about the monsters which are out there, threatening the peace, whether they are vampires, zombies or aliens, it is the monsters turn to attack. They can mindlessly attack, but I have found that students prefer intelligent creatures that have motivations that we can understand. Perhaps they are upset about what could be seen by them as an attack when your students obtained the blood for testing. Perhaps they too want to obtain some of our blood for testing. Whatever the reason, the creatures are advancing to the student's location. What to do now?

Warm-up Activity: Play Games

Humans vs. Zombies

Humans vs. Zombies (also called HvZ for short) is a live-action game predominantly played at US college campuses. The official rules can be found at the website of the creators of the game.

Essentially Humans vs. Zombies is a game of tag. I have modified the rules slightly to adapt it to a one-time setting, as the original rules are for a game that can last a long time. The basic idea of the game is that all players except one begin as humans. The one that is not a human is the randomly chosen “Original Zombie.” The Original Zombie tags human players and turns them into zombies. Zombies must tag and eat a human at a predetermined length of time (in the original version it is every 48 hours), in our game will be every 5  minutes, or they starve to death and are out of the game. The Zombies win when all human players have been tagged and turned into zombies.The Humans win by surviving long enough for all of the zombies to starve.


Bandanna for each player
Nerf Gun, Marshmallow Launcher or the like

Safe Zones

Ahead of time decide which areas are safe zones in which people can go and not be tagged.

Rules for the Humans:

Wearing a Bandanna: Humans must wear a headband around an arm or leg to identify them as players of the game. (This headband will come in handy when you become a zombie!)

Stunning a Zombie: Humans may stun a Zombie for 15 minutes by blasting them with a blaster or throwing a sock at them.

When Tagged By a Zombie: One minute (hour, in the original version) after being tagged, the human must tie their bandanna around his head – he is now a member of the Zombie team and must tag some Humans.

Rules for Zombies:

Feeding: Zombies must feed every 5 minutes (48 hours in the original version), by tagging a human, by firmly touching any part of the human. (In the original version, zombie feeds by reporting their tag on the website.) He tells the human he has been tagged and the human must react accordingly (see above).

Getting Shot: When hit with a dart or a marshmallow, or the like, a Zombie is stunned for 1 minute. A stunned zombie may not interact with the game in any way. This includes shielding other zombies from bullets or continuing to run toward a human.

Wearing A Headband: Zombies must wear a bandanna around their heads at all times. 

Additional Rules

Blasting Non-Players: Blasting non-players is a bannable offense.

Non-Player Interference: People who are not participants may not directly interact with the game. This includes bringing food to humans or spying for either team.

Safe Zones: A zombie must have both feet outside of a safe zone to tag a human. Humans can stun zombies from inside of a safe-zone.

No Shields: Zombies may not use shields to deflect foam darts, marshmallows or the like.

Zombie Tag

The doctor's antidote zombie

Collect at least five to as many people as you want participating.
Choose a spot to play. It can either be a wide outdoor space, or a theater space, or even a maze-like structure where you have to find your way around.
Ask or choose who will be the doctor.

Everyone but the doctor stands in a circle and closes his or her eyes. The doctor will choose two or more (depending on the number of players) sleeper zombies by tapping them on the head. The doctor will then ask the zombies to look up and recognize each other. (Everyone else must keep their eyes tightly shut.)

Optional: Have the doctor choose a runner zombie and an angel as well. The runner zombie, obviously, can run, unlike the other zombies. The angel can turn zombies back into humans, but only once for each person. The angel also is unaffected by zombies.

Give the doctor a few minutes to hide. Then begin the game. Once the game has begun, the sleeper zombies have to wait one minute before they turn from humans into zombies. Set a timer with a ring if it'll help––it can certainly add to the crescendo of excitement!

At least two humans must find the doctor (he or she has the antidote, of course) and bring him or her to a designated spot (usually an exit to the outdoors, or an elevated place if you're outdoors.)
If you're a zombie, you have no intelligence. You cannot run. You can't guard the doctor if you've found him, and the only thing you can say is, "Brains!" You can say brains to scare your victim, or to ask another person if they're a zombie, for example.
If the humans bring the doctor to the designated spot safely, then it's a human victory! If everyone has turned into a zombie, then it's a zombie victory!

Zombies on the Increase

If you have a spread out area, somewhere with walls to hide behind, corners, and dead ends, you can play this version instead. Get together all the people you need to play. In advance, pick someone to be the zombie, and give this person a head start of about 10-20 seconds.

Indoors are off limits, if you go in you're a zombie (unless you're playing indoors, then the outside is off-limits).

If you're tagged, then you join the zombie team. The zombies can't be defeated, you keep playing until you're all zombies.

You can also band together to stay away from the zombies (this might be a bad strategy, though.).

You must also admit that you are a zombie. Once you get tagged, you are automatically a zombie.
Play again. Remember the last survivor and the original zombie of the last game can't be picked as the zombie.

Zombie Race

This race is suitable for those who are fit and love running. Runners try to reach the end of a determined running race, without zombies touching them. Choose a set of people to be the zombies. Have a ratio of about 1 zombie to three or four runners initially––this will increase as runners are tagged and turn zombie too.

Choose the runners. Have as many as you have space for, or you can do the game in rounds to give more people a chance if it's too crowded otherwise.

Set up the racetrack. Measure the distance the runners have to make and lay down both a start and finish line. The sides of the track must also be marked, beyond which runners cannot go (but zombies are free to roam anywhere).

Have all runners line up ready to run. Have zombies peppered around the racetrack ready to start chasing runners. The zombies cannot run but they can obstruct a runner anywhere on the track. Hence, runners need to be ready to run around zombies but not into each other.
Start the race. Obviously, the object is to reach the finish line unscathed. Runners can dodge zombies but if they leave the racetrack or bump into another runner, they become a zombie too. The winner is the first to reach the finishing line untouched by a zombie. Play as many times as liked.

Lesson: Tactical Maneuvers

Reports have it that the zombies have been seen in or around a building. You need to send out your reconnaissance team to see if this rumor is true. If it is, then the zombies are closing in. You will need to give your students lessons in reconnaissance. 

Cover and Concealment

To teach your students some practical skills in avoiding attack, begin with exercises in cover and concealment. Go to an open area that has some areas in which people can hide (trees, bushes, piles of lumber or the like) and ask your students to hide themselves, while you turn your back and count to 20. Turn around and see how many of the students you can spot. Using a Nerf gun, marshmallow shooter or a rolled up clean sock, aim at the students you can see.

Afterwards, gather the students in a circle and discuss the difference in cover and concealment. Cover is being hidden whereas concealment is hiding so that the enemy cannot hit you. Discuss the instances in which cover and concealment might be used. Discuss what ways students can increase their ability to cover and conceal themselves. Discuss why you were able to see some of the students. In what ways can they improve their cover and concealment? Discuss camouflage.

Hand Signals

Give your students the story of people venturing out in which they wanted to enter a building which they believe the "zombies" are located. How can you communicate what you plan to do without speaking, which might alert the "zombies"? Guide your students, if they don't come up with the idea themselves, they value of hand-signals. Have your students come up with their own hand-signals that they can use in this camp. You can look up military hand-signals to give them ideas, if they are having trouble coming up with them.

MOUT Training

Next, teach your students some basics in MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) training. Have them pick (or you pick) the leader for this first training mission. Using an empty building or even your home, teach students how to crouch down low to avoid being seen as the walk down the side of a building. The leader for this mission is the one who will give the hand-signals to the other students. He will carefully look in the building and determine how many, if any, "zombies" are in the building. For this first training exercise, don't have any "zombies" in sight. He is to direct one man to go to the opposite side of the front door, while the leader and the rest of the students remain in the other side of the door. The leader will "kick down the door" and then the rest of the troops go in, weapons (Nerf guns and the like) go in, fanning out in both directions, with the leader following up the rear. The student who was on the opposite side of the door remains outside to keep watch of activity on the outside of the building. You probably don't have a building with a door that you wouldn't mind really being kicked open, so the students will pretend to kick down the door as they quickly open it.
Students are to do a similar opening and fanning out as they enter each room of the house. This may take some practice to coordinate smoothly, so have them go through the activity, changing the positions, with you giving the students your observations and advice. Once they can run through it smoothly, change it up a bit and add "zombies" at various locations for them to subdue.

Literature Study:  Apocalyptic Novels

Discuss with your students what common themes are coming up in the novels that they are reading. What are the apocalyptic events? How are they alike/different? Are there steps being taken to avoid the apocalyptic event? How is it dealt with once it occurs? What societal topics are explored?

Additional Activities:

Escape the Room game

Play an Escape the Room adventure.

Math Project

For high school students, you can complete the "Outbreak" portion of the Zombie Apocalypse from 21st Century Math Projects.  In this task, half of your class will turn into zombies while the other have tries to cure them... or else they will become Zombies too.

sources and resources:


  1. Fun! I always enjoy reading your game posts. I hope you're all having a wonderful summer.

  2. I am seeing a birthday party for the boys with this post right here.....

    I'm finally having time to sit down and read all of the posts my friends have written over the past month. It's been insane this summer!

  3. Hey super love the military costumes - reminds me of when I was a kid and my parents went all out on a party activity.

    BTW thanks for the shout out on the escape room kits (Elliott here from Lock Paper Scissors). Let me know if you'd like me to send you some free escape room kits to give away to your readers.


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