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5 Laws of Zombie Migration

5 Laws of Zombie Migration

Dead Reckon

Ravenstein’s Laws

Nearly 130 years ago, cartographer and exercise-guru Ernst Ravenstein, introduced the world to his original laws of human migration. The original laws that he wrote have somewhat stood the test of time and provide some foundation for our modern theories of migration. Ravenstein and others continued to work on the laws and the following is a basic idea of the laws still around.

  1. every migration flow generates a return or counter-migration.
  2. the majority of migrants move a short distance.
  3. migrants who move longer distances tend to choose big-city destinations.
  4. urban residents are often less migratory than inhabitants of rural areas.
  5. families are less likely to make international moves than young adults.
  6. most migrants are adults.
  7. large towns grow by migration rather than natural increase.

 5 Laws of Zombie Migration

Migration will play a large role in surviving the zombie apocalypse. It is not only important to know where people will move, but maybe more important to know where zombies move and why. It could be possible to disrupt zombie migration patterns to keep them away from new settlements. This is why I propose these rules. Just as Ravenstein’s have been amended, I suggest readers provide feedback on these laws.

Law 1 – every zombie migration flow generates a return or counter-migration of survivors.

For all large flows of zombies to a new area, there will be a counter-movement of survivors fleeing that area. The ratio of zombie migration to counter-movement of survivors may change over time.

Law 2 – the majority of zombies move a short distance.

While some zombies can go on an epic journey, most will prefer to move short distances whenever possible.

 Law 3 – zombies who move longer distances tend to choose big-city destinations.

If a zombie does move a long distance, they will probably not stop moving until they come across a large city with opportunity to find survivors.

Law 4 – urban zombies are often less migratory than zombies of rural areas.

Urban zombies will not move as far as rural zombies. Rural zombies require greater distance to find survivors given the lower population density. As the zombie apocalypse continues, the survivor population density becomes even lower, causing rural zombies to seek areas of higher population density (suburban and urban areas). Conversely, urban zombies are longer satisfied in the higher population density.

Law 5 – large towns draw lots of zombies.

Building from our previous laws, it is safe to predict that large towns will attract most zombies. Cities have higher populations of zombies who are willing to stay in that area and rural zombies are more likely to move to those cities.


We see from these laws that cities are hot destinations for zombies. However, once a city is completely zombified we will probably have to examine zombie migration under more useful tool such as Lee’s push and pull factors. For example, Human over-population is a factor that will push people to move elsewhere. Similarly, an over-population of zombies and an under-population of living humans will lead to a zombie push factor, encouraging zombie migration to another area.

What do you think? What makes zombies move?

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Accepting Donations: Help Make the Graphic Novel

Hello Everyone! A quick update just to let you know that ZBL is accepting Paypal donations again. To donate, Go Here.

The reason I’m accepting donations is because of 2 reasons:

1) I’ve been getting a lot of requests from people who missed the limited 25 day Kickstarter window and would like to get in line for materials and resources, or would like to just donate some money!

2) I have just started working with a great illustrator and colorist for the Zombie-Based Learning Graphic Novel! The original fundraising covers the first 32 pages of the graphic novel, but there are about 100 more pages to go. This graphic novel walks students through the zombie apocalypse narrative, introduces projects, teaches geographic concepts, and is an exciting story! I can’t wait to share more with you soon!

Share this page or the donation page! There are plenty of people out there who want to get involved!

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Want to see standards?

School ended yesterday! I told myself I could take a weekend off before I started full-time work on the Zombie-Based Geography curriculum. However, I was too excited to put off working any longer. All of the standards are outlined, fit into the narrative, and ready for projects to be designed. My next step will probably be to plan out all of the lessons for each project. So far it has been going really well.

Below I’m posting the 18 Geography standards that are worked into the ZBL curriculum. Each of those standards have multiple bullet points of elements that make up the standard. Each of those elements are addressed in ZBL, making it a very rich and standards based program. It doesn’t just touch on each of the standards, it goes into all 75 elements of the 18 different standards. Below are all 75 elements, grouped by standard. I am holding off on showing you how I tie each of the 75 elements into the narrative (but they are all planned). I will show you the web that places all of the standards and elements into the framework:

Zombie-Based Learning Standards

Web of Geography Standards

National Geography Standard
1) The World in Spatial Terms
How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective (all used throughout the unit)
1A) Recognize characteristics and applications of maps, globes, aerial and other images.
1B) Make  and use different globes, graphs, charts, databases, and models.
1C) Evaluate when to use certain maps or other tools and technology to solve geographic problems
1D) Use tools and technology to ask and answer questions about spatial distribution and patterns on earth
2) Mental Maps
How to use mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial context.
2A) Identify important physical and human features on maps
2B) Draw mental maps and compare to atlases for accuracy
2C) Draw mental map for a purpose
2D) Analyze individual’s interpretations and attitudes toward places through their mental maps
3) Spatial information on EarthHow to analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on Earth’s surface
3A) Analyze and explain physical and human distribution
3B) Analyze and explain patterns of land use patterns such as distance, accessibility, and connections
3C) Explain how places are connected and their interdependence and accessibility
3D) Describe patterns of migration and diffusion
4) Places and Regions
The physical and human characteristics of places
4A) Analyze the physical characteristics of a place (p.150)
4B) Analyze the human characteristics of places (p. 150)
4C) Identify and analyze how technology shapes human characteristics of places (p. 151)
5) Creating Regions
People create regions to interpret Earth’s complexity (pp. 152-153)
5A) Identify the criteria used to define a region
5B) Identify types of regions
5C) Explain how regions change over space and time
5D) Explain how regions are connected
5E) Evaluate the influences and effects of regional labels and images
6) Cultural Influence on Regions
How culture and experience influence people’s perception of places and regions
6A) Evaluate the characteristics of places and regions from a variety of points of view
6B) Explain how technology affects the ways in which culture groups perceive and use places and regions
6C) Identify ways culture influences people’s perceptions of places and regions
6D) Illustrate and explain how places and regions serve as cultural symbols
7) Physical Systems
The physical processes that shape the patterns of the Earth’s surface
7A) Use physical processes to explain patterns in the physical environment
7B) Analyze physical patterns in terms of processes that created them
7C) Explain how Earth-Sun relationships affect Earth’s physical processes and create physical patterns
7D) Describe the processes that produce renewable and nonrenewable resources
7E) Predict the consequences of a specific physical process operating on Earth’s surface
8) Physical Systems and Ecosystems
The characteristics and spatial distributions of ecosystems on Earth’s surface
8A) Explain the distribution of ecosystems from local to global scales
8B) Explain the functions and dynamics of ecosystems
8C) Explain how physical processes influence ecosystems
8D) Explain how human processes contribute to changes in ecosystems
9) Human Systems – Migration, Population
The characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
9A) Describe the structure of different populations through the use of key demographic concepts
9B) Analyze the population characteristics of places to explain population patterns
9C) Explain migration streams over time
9D) Describe ways in which human migration influences the character of a place
10) Human Systems – Culture
The characteristics, distribution, and complexity of Earth’s cultural mosaics
10A) Identify ways in which communities reflect the cultural background of their inhabitants
10B) Identify and describe the distinctive cultural landscapes associated with migrant populations
10C) Describe and explain the significances of patterns of cultural diffusion in the creation of Earth’s varied cultural mosaic
11) Human Systems – Pattens of Economics
The patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth’s surface
11A) List and define the major terms used to describe economic activity in a geographic context
11B) Explain the spatial aspects of systems designed to deliver goods and services
11C) Analyze and evaluate issues related to the spatial distribution of economic activities
11D) Identify and explain the primary geographic causes for world trade
11E) Analyze historical and contemporary economic trade networks
11F) Identify and explain the factors influencing industrial location in the United States
11G) Compare and evaluate the roles of historical and contemporary systems of transportation and communication in the development of economic activities
12) Human Systems – Settlement
The processes, patterns, and functions of human settlement
12A) Identify and describe settlement patterns
12B) Identify factors involved in the development of cities
12C) Analyze the ways in which both the landscape and society would change as a consequence of shifting from a dispersed to a concentrated settlement form
12D) Explain the causes and consequences of urbanization
12E) Identify and define the internal spatial structures of cities
13) Human Systems – Cooperation and Conflict
How the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of Earth’s surface
13A) Identify and explain reasons for the different spatial divisions in which the student lives
13B)Explain why people cooperate but also engage in conflict to control Earth’s surface
13C)Describe the factors that affect the cohesiveness and integration of countries
13D) Analyze the divisions on Earth’s surface at different scales (local to global)
14) Environment and Society – Human Actions
How human actions modify the physical environment
14A) Analyze the environmental consequences of humans changing the physical environment
14B) Identify and explain the ways in which human-induced changes in the physical environment in one place can cause changes in other places
14C) Evaluate the ways in which technology influences human capacity to modify the physical environment
15) Environment and Society – Physical Systems
How physical systems affect human systems
15A) Analyze ways in which human systems develop in response to conditions in the physical environment
15B) Explain how the characteristics of different physical environments affect human activities
15C) Describe the effects of natural hazards on human systems
16) Environment and Society – Resources
The changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources
16A) Describe and analyze world patterns of resource distribution and utilization
16B) Describe the consequences of the use of resources in the contemporary world
16C) Evaluate different viewpoints regarding resource use
16D) Identify the role of technology in resource acquisition and use
16E) Identify and develop plans for the management and use of renewable, nonrenewable, and flow resources
16F) Explain the critical importance of energy resources to the development of human societies
17) The Uses of Geography – Past
How to apply geography to interpret the past
17A) Describe the ways in which the spatial organization of society changes over time
17B) Assess the roles that spatial and environmental perceptions played in the past
17C) Analyze the effects of physical and human geographic factors on major historic events
17D) List and describe significant physical features that have influence historical events
18) The Uses of Geography – Present and Future
How to apply geography to interpret the present and plan for the future
18A) Analyze the interaction between physical and human systems to understand possible causes and effects of current conditions on Earth and to speculate on future conditions
18B) Integrate multiple points of view to analyze and evaluate contemporary geographic issues
18C) Demonstrate an understanding of spatial organization of human activities and physical systems and be able to make informed decisions