Monday, November 7, 2011

Mission Possible

You see them in the movies using their keen powers of observation and quick thinking along with the latest and greatest technology to keep one step ahead of their enemies.  These spies are the living a glamorous life.  Their stories are the stuff of Hollywood, and lots of our students just can’t get enough.  Joann is featuring resources this week that examine the history of espionage, a riveting topic for students of all ages.  When the topics of history parallel the themes of their favorite films, your students are more likely to stay engaged and involved in activities and discussions.  Much to these students’ dismay, we can’t spend the entire year studying spies, but some enterprising teachers sneak a “spy” theme in throughout the subjects to engage their students.

If you are studying a particular historical period, there may be some excellent primary sources you can use that will tie the theme of spies in perfectly.  One unit, The WWII Spy Kit, does a nice job of allowing students to discover the espionage that took place in WWII.

Spies throughout history have honed many skills and learned to use all different kinds of technology to be successful.  Why not take some time this year to have your students learn the skills they will need to become “spies?” 

Spies are good with patterns.
Spies need to be able to communicate with secret codes and break other peoples’ codes when necessary.  Your students can practice making and breaking codes and communicating with their classmates through code.  Try this code breaker activity or this doorman’s code activity to start.  These kinds of code activities can be fun for students of all ages.

Spies are sneaky.
Let your students complete an assignment using invisible ink!  It’s easy to do, and what assignment isn’t fun when you get to use invisible ink?  Look at this resource for directions on how to make (and read) your own.

Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages all week for more exciting espionage related resources!  Have you done any neat spy activities in your classroom? We always like hearing what has worked for you.

Is there a topic you would like us to write about in the future?  Joann is always adding new resources to the Gateway, and we want to know what you need.

~Peggy's Corner - September 22, 2011~

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