Lesson Plan 1: Nine Men’s Morris Historical/Cultural Perspective

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Objective: 2 students will vie to be the first player to move all of his/her game pieces off the board. SWBAT measure, draw and color to create the game board. SW predict, count and use higher-level cognitive skills to develop strategies of play.
Materials: 1 6x20 inch piece of cardboard or oak tag, pencils, ruler, scissors, permanent marker, 4 craft sticks, 14 pawns (7 of one small object, 7 of another small object – these can be buttons, paperclips, pennies, bottle caps, or any other small object).
Procedure: Draw a 6” x 20” rectangle on cardboard. Divide it in half, drawing a horizontal line. Draw 9 vertical lines spaced 2” apart. You have made your Senet board. Draw the five Egyptian symbols shown here on the Senet board (or photocopy this board, using my mediocre artwork).

House of Rebirth

House of Happiness

House of Water

House of


House of Truths

Using the black marker, color one side of each craft stick. Set these aside until the ink dries. The uncolored side is “white.” Divide the pawns between the two players, each should have seven objects all alike. Place the pawns on the Senet board starting on the top left and alternating between different pawns (as shown below).

The craft sticks are the dice. They are read as follows:

  1. One white side up = 1 move

  2. Two white sides up = 2 moves

  3. Three white sides up = 3 moves

  4. Four white sides up = 4 moves

  5. Four black sides up = 6 moves

You begin by tossing down the sticks. The first player rolling a one goes first.

  1. Players toss or drop the sticks to determine who goes first.

  2. Pawns are moved around the board in the following order: top row, from left to right: middle row, from right to left: and bottom row, from left to right, until all pawns exit the board at the bottom right.

  3. When a player tosses a 1, 4, or 6, that player gets another turn.

  4. A player cannot land on a space already occupied by one of his/her pawns. Choose a different pawn to move, or skip a turn.

  5. If a player lands on an opponent’s space, the opponent’s pawn gets bumped back to its original space. Players cannot bump an opponent’s pawn if the opponent has two or more pawns lined up in a row. The player must then choose a to move a different pawn.

  6. A player is blocked from passing the opponent if the opponent has three or more pawns in a row. This alignment is called a block. The player must move a different pawn. A player is allowed to pass his/her own pawns or the opponents, so long as the player doesn’t pass a block.

  7. A player can’t move pawns off the board unless all his/her pawns are off the first row.

  8. The House of Rebirth is considered to be a safe place. Players cannot bump or be bumped when on this space.

  9. The House of Water is considered to be a bad space. When a player lands here, he/she must return to the House of Rebirth. If that space is occupied, the player must go back to the first starting square, top left.

  10. The house of Happiness is considered to be a safe space. Players must stop here, no matter what has been rolled on the “dice.”

  11. The House of Truths is also considered to be a safe space. If a player lands here, he/she must roll a 3 to exit the board.

  12. The House of Re-Atoun is considered to be a safe space where, any player who lands here, must roll a 2 to exit the board.

  13. To exit from the last space you must roll a 1.

Assessment: Observation sheet based on level of participation on a 0-2 scale: 0-non-particpation 1-some participation 2- full participation in activity, and an anecdotal record based on behavior during activity.

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