Armis Lesson Plan
Subject: Any [a message from the lesson plan designer: "I designed it for 3-4th graders but it could be any age, especially beginners to the game since it helps with memorizing the game pieces. I have created two memory games. The first is individual memory cards to study and the second is a group game, although it could be played even in a smaller group of students whereby the teacher gives each student lots of cards (instead of one each). I have included the answers on the lesson plan for the second game. (Otherwise the answers go down on the first page 1-5 first column, 6-10 second column and continue to the 2nd page---again the first column 11-14, and then the second column 15-18). Sincerely, Sue]
Objective: Through brain exercises (individual or group matching games), students sharpen cognitive functions and build memory of Armis game pieces (their powers and conditions); students generalize and apply brain exercises to memorization of any subject area (present and future).
Set of memory cards for each student (teacher to copy)
Scissors for each child to cut out a set of cards
Rubber band, paperclip or envelope (to hold cards for practice)
Scissors for teacher to cut out cards
Computer for teacher and each student or grouping of students
Internet access for Armis website
Teacher downloads copy of Game #1 memory cards of 17 pieces and copy a set for each student. The students cut the cards on the lines to make
an individualized set to study and they print their name on the cover.
The teacher introduces and reviews terms daily, using a projector/screen, over the course of a week. Students work on the brain exercise of memorizing
the game pieces (pictures and names of piece to powers and conditions of play by matching up the cards like a puzzle).
Teacher downloads copy of Game #2 and cuts out pieces for whole class to play the brain exercise. The students each get a piece and the teacher calls
on the students to read the cards out loud. Whoever has the first card begins, reads the clue, and waits for the appropriate person in class to answer
correctly. Then the second card is read and the game proceeds until the last card is read.
The teacher must be competent with understanding Armis (especially the pieces and their characteristics) so the students can get help when needed.
The students have computers on so the Armis site is accessed without delay so they can review the Rules of the Game to aid in memorizing.
Select one of three options for students to explore ways to memorize: 1) a tray of 15 miscellaneous objects, 2) a picture of about 15 items flashed up on a screen with a projector, 3) a list of 15 nouns.
Bring out the tray of 15 objects and hold up each item and say the name of the item. Place tray of items out of sight and have students record on paper all of the items they recall. Repeat with picture flashed up on screen (if this option is chosen). In the third option, read the list of nouns slowly to the students.
Read/show correct items as children self-correct their papers to see how many words they have correct. Discuss which ways children “memorized” the answers. Discuss ways in which to memorize for any type of learning. Do they use acronyms and acrostics? Do they use story webs? Do they do word association? Ask why is it important to develop cognitive functions and build memory? Ask how these skills learned today can be applied to other examples within a school setting? At home?
Once students understand the importance of brain exercising through memory games, introduce the first game to the students. Students are given a set of cards to cut out on the lines and a fastener or envelope for organizing the cards. Students write their name on the line for “Student’s Name”.
Students are shown how the game works. Instruct for students to mix the cards up and to place all of the word/picture cards in one deck, while placing the description of the pieces in another deck.
Direct students to find the picture of the Flag. Tell them via the projector/screen what the Flag in the game Armis does. Have them find this clue card. Match this card to the word. It will fit like a puzzle piece.
Introduce a few words each day with review of the previous day(s) until all of the terms have been introduced. Students can practice by themselves through this memory game.
Explain the second game to the students after all of the words have been introduced, reviewed and practiced with the first game. This second game is a group memory exercise. Pass out the word cards to the students (each student gets one card or in the case that there are more students than cards, students can work in pairs). Ask who has the first card?
That student reads the card and gets out of his/her seat and gives the card to the teacher. The teacher reads the card a second time. Whoever has the answer to that card, reads the card and then gives that card to the teacher to read out loud. The game continues until the last card is read. If any student thinks an answer is incorrect as the game proceeds, he/she should raise a hand and explain why. If all of the answers are correct, all of the cards should be used.
When the game is completed, ask the students what the purpose of the game was? Did it help with memory and how? What other skills might the game have helped with? (Students will probably say to stay on task since they never knew if their card was next.)
Another variation of this game is to have a student who successfully answers to join someone in class who still has a card. This way the students can work with a partner to help with cognition and memory. Yet another adaptation is to try to beat the time it takes to play the game from start to finish. Predict how long the game will take and try to beat that time.
(Answers in order of I Have, You Have, Who Has the Armis Piece include: Flag, President, Vice President, Army, Aircraft Carrier, Submarine, Jet, Helicopter, Marines, Coast Guard, Reserve, Diplomat, Religion, Child, Mover, Media and Nuke.)
Now, explain the Rules of the Game Armis to the children and they will have a better grasp of the directions as they know the game pieces. Explain how Armis is similar to Chess or Risk in that players try to protect their pieces and take over their opponent’s pieces. Ask if the children have played Chess or Risk before and what it means to “protect their pieces” and “take over their opponent’s pieces”?
Show them the Armis game board (on the website) and point out how they can review the game pieces (duty, movement, power, and conditions) by looking at the dropdown menu on the right of the screen. Tell them they can use their memory cards to also help with playing Armis.
Students work in pairs or individually to play a few games against the computer. Monitor the games and answer questions accordingly.
Ask how the students have memorized the pieces and their powers and conditions. Ask if the memory games helped and how.
Continue to play the game Armis regularly throughout the school year to better develop cognitive functioning and memory. Encourage students to play at home or during free time at school so memory becomes permanent.
After several games are played over a series of days/weeks, students write in their journals two entries: 1) ways they can increase their cognitive ability and memory (in general); and 2) how the tools of brain exercises (i.e. individual and group memory games) may help in other areas of their lives.
The teacher reads and reflects on the student journals. Students share examples in class for further discussion and learning.
Armis Lesson Plan
Grades: 6 - 8
Subject: Social Studies (but adaptable to all subjects)
Lesson Topic: Improving critical, logical, and scientific thinking skills
Objectives: Through discussion and game play, students will understand the importance of
higher order thinking skills (critical, logical, scientific) and hone those skills by playing Armis (in
groups and individually).
- Computer for self and all students
- Internet access (for Armis website and animal morph pictures)
- Chalkboard or whiteboard
Preparation: The game itself has a somewhat steep learning curve, so save time by having
all computers turned on and loaded to the Armis website. Instruct students not to touch the
computers until told to do so and, to prevent distractions, consider turning off monitors until
ready to play the game.
Additionally, it's vital for the teacher to understand the rules of Armis and to have played the
game enough to understand the strategy involved and have the ability to assist students as
Launch the photo gallery of "strange animal morphs" (found at http://bit.ly/up4ui) and display
it for all students to see. Click through a few of the photos. Although realistic looking, these
images are obviously fake (photoshopped), so expect students to react in disbelief.
Allow students to react naturally, and as they say things such as, "That's not real," egg them on
somewhat by responding, "What do you mean that's not real?" or "How do you know that's not
After looking at several of the photos, finally agree that, indeed, the students are correct and
the pictures are fake. Ask, "What made you think the pictures were fake?" They will likely
offer explanations such as, "There's no such thing as those types of animals," "you can't trust
everything you see on the internet," or "someone created them with a computer program."
Ask, "If I showed these same pictures to a preschooler would they think they were real? Why?"
The students will likely explain that preschoolers may not know enough about animals to realize
those in the pictures can't exist. Also, they may not understand how easily things can be faked
in photos and online.
Ask, "What makes you different from the preschooler? In other words, what makes it possible
for you to recognize a fake photo?
Continue asking probing questions until students suggest that their brains are more developed
than preschoolers, and through experience they have developed critical thinking skills (you may
have to provide the term "critical thinking," but allow them to explain it to you first).
As a class, come up with a definition for critical thinking, and write it on the board. Your class'
definition will vary but should be similar to:
Critical thinking: Actively analyzing, conceptualizing, and evaluating information to make
a judgment on belief or action.
Explain that critical thinkers are skeptical but fair-minded and consider things carefully before
making decisions. Have students explain other characteristics of critical/logical/scientific
Ask, "Why is it important to have critical/logical thinking skills?" Students should respond with
suggestions like (write their responses on the board):
• To better judge the massive amount of information fed to them through technology.
• To form their own opinions about what they learn in school.
• To more effectively solve math and science problems and to better understand why
historic events happened as they did.
• To make smarter life choices
• To make career advancements
• To form sound decisions about politics and civic affairs
Once students understand what critical thinking is and why it's important to their lives, explain
that the class is going to play a game, Armis, which is fun but also develops their critical thinking
Describe the basic rules of Armis and explain how it is similar to Chess or Risk in that players
are required to overtake their opponents by securing their pieces. Show them the Armis
gameboard (on the website) and point out how they can see the duty, movement, power, and
conditions of every piece by looking at the dropdown menu on the right of the screen. Suggest
that they refer to it often while playing to learn the abilities of the pieces.
Put students into pairs and instruct them to play a few games (as a team) against the computer.
This will give them a feel for the game, and by working in pairs they can help each other
understand the rules.
After all groups have completed a few rounds, ask if there are any questions about the game. If
so, answer accordingly.
Allow the students to play another round or two (individually or in pairs).
Then ask, "How have you used critical, logical, or scientific thinking skills in Armis?"
Students should respond with multiple and varied answers, but if they need help recognizing
the types of decisions/actions they formulated ask questions such as:
Why is it smart to put your marines near the water?
Who thought to put the president and vice president in separate corners?
Why might it be a good idea to put the nuke in the center?
What pieces might you sacrifice first?
Have the students consider how the pieces/game relates to real life by asking:
Why did the game maker not give all the pieces the same power?
How do the pieces' (army, president, religion, children, etc.) powers compare to their
powers in real life?
Do you think the pieces' real-life equivalents have to use similar critical thinking skills?
After thoroughly discussing the above questions, have the students list ways Armis can enhance
their own higher order thinking skills. They may suggest:
• Forces them to plan
• Must coordinate a strategy
• Must think logically
• Must anticipate opponent's moves
• Have to carefully consider the abilities of each piece
With the benefits and relevance of Armis solidified, ask the students again, "Why is it important
to have critical/logical thinking skills?" Refer to the list that's already on the board and see if
they can come up with any new ideas now that they have played the game.
Give students the rest of the class time to play Armis. Provide incentive by offering a prize (free
homework pass, pencils, etc.) to the first person/team to beat the computer.
Continue to play the game regularly throughout the school year to better develop the students
higher order thinking skills. Additionally, encourage students to play daily at home, so they can
master their skills and eventually challenge their friends when the multiplayer version becomes
Armis Lesson Plan
3rd – 12th
Social Studies (but adaptable to all subjects)
Understanding the mechanics and elements of leadership and its role in success
Through discussion and activities, students will understand the need for leadership in achieving success and refine their understanding of leadership through playing Armis
Activity 1 – “Stand by your quote”
5-10 pieces of paper (depending on the size of the class) with different leadership quotes written on each. It is best that each leadership quote presents different viewpoints
Double sided tape
White board and white board marker
· Effective leadership is putting first things first
· Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great
· Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower
· He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious
· Leadership is influence
· People who don't take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year while people who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.
· In leadership, clarity affords focus
· The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang
· The more you plan, the less you execute
· Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other
Activity 2 – “Leadership and Armis”
- PC and Internet access for all students (for playing Armis later on)
Put up the quotes on the board for the whole class to see. Make sure it is big enough for students to read all the way back in the classroom. Make sure to put enough space between each quote on the board.
To save time make sure that the PCs are already turned on to get to playing Armis immediately after the 1st activity (including processing) is done. It is best that the monitors are turned off to keep the students’ attention to the instructor as he starts the first activity and process the learning points after
It is best for the instructor to have played Armis and understood the game thoroughly to provide for credible discussion of leadership principles within the context of playing the game
Tell the students to look at the board and read each leadership quote written on the pieces of paper. Give them time to process the quotes and then ask them to stand up and stand by the quote that best reflect their personal ideas and opinions about leadership.
When all students are all standing by the quote of their choice, give them time to explain and share to the class why they choose that leadership quote. It is possible and perfectly okay to have multiple students standing by a single quote especially if the class is big.
Write down on a white board their answers. You might hear responses like “to be a good leader you must be able to see the big picture” while relating to a quote posted on the board. You can then ask questions to expand on their statements like “how important is seeing the big picture in leadership”? You may also encourage them to share more by asking “can you give me a personal experience wherein seeing the big picture helped you both in leading yourself or other people”? Continue to write down key words and phrases from their answers.
Allow the whole class to interact with each other by directing the same questions to other students in the class. Allow them to add on each other’s inputs.
Allow students to sit down after the interaction and processing.
Ask: Is success possible without leadership?
Let students justify their answers
Lead back the class to the quotes you posted on the board and ask random students if success is possible without applying the quotes on the board.
The answer of course will be “no” and then close the activity by concluding that without leadership, without prioritizing, taking risks, planning, and prudence (refer to the leadership principles taught by the leadership quotes you have on the board), it is impossible to achieve success. Leadership is indeed necessary in success.
When the students understand clearly the concept of leadership and why it is important in leading themselves and others towards success, tell the class that they will be playing a new game online called Armis. Explain to them that the game will help them apply leadership principles they have recently learned in the recent discussion.
Describe the basic rules and mechanics of Armis to the class and let them see the game board. Explain that Armis is like chess, and that to win the game, one must capture the flag of the opponent, like capturing the King piece in chess. This is the only time that you allow students to turn on their monitors and get to the Armis website. Explain to them that they can see the duty, movement, power, and condition every piece by looking at the dropdown menu on the right of the screen.
Group the students into teams (3-5 for each team depending on the size of the class) and let them play Armis. Teaming them up allows the instructor to save time during the processing later on, and it will also allow students to learn the game faster as they can confer and discuss the game mechanics among themselves. The instructor must be there to clarify things as the game progress.
Allow students to play against the computer as many times as the time allows.
After the allotted time, ask each team of students to share their experience with the game.
Ask each team the following questions:
1. Is leadership needed in Armis to win? Explain your answer.
2. What leadership quote/s we have discussed earlier best apply with your experience in playing Armis? (it does not matter of students lost all games – they can still pick leadership lessons playing the game)
3. Ask them follow up questions. If they answer with “we have realized that to advance and outsmart the opponent, we need to have a plan”, then you can ask:
· What was your plan to win the game?
· Did your planning pay off?
4. How about in your team, who do you think was the leader?
5. Why do you think (name of the student) is the leader in your group?
6. What leadership quote/s we have discussed earlier best apply to your team and its acting leader?
Allow the class to interact as each team share their experience with the game and how they apply and integrate the lesson on leadership and success.
Ask the students why leadership is important in their daily lives and ask them to relate leadership to playing Armis. Refer to the things you have written down during the first activity (the students’ opinion on the leadership quotes on the board) and see if the students have more things to add on leadership and success.
Allow students to play Armis for the rest of the remaining time in the class. Continue to encourage students to play Armis throughout the school year allowing them to practice their leadership skills and improve their success rate in winning against the computer. Motivate the students to play Armis even at home to hone their strategies and leadership practices. Contextualize their learning about leadership principles with how they lead their pieces towards victory in the game.