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Decoding Nazi Secrets

Viewing Ideas


Before Watching

Codes and Ciphers
Codes and ciphers have specific meanings in the world of military intelligence. Codes are symbols, letters, or letter groups which represent whole words or concepts. For example, a U.S. Navy code, KE3, represents: "This unit is being harassed by gas." The relationship between a code and its meaning is unchanging for the life of the code. Ciphers are messages in which letters or symbols replace real letters. Encrypting a cipher is done one letter at a time using a cipher code.

  1. Discuss the meanings of codes and ciphers using the information presented in the box above.

  2. To help students understand the use of passwords in their current lives—for such things as locker locks, cell phones, ATMs, and computers—have them do the Password Protection activity. Discuss what students consider when choosing a password. To complete the activity, create small groups and follow the instructions on the activity sheet. Compare student answers to the master lists in Activity Answer.

  3. Have students discuss the kinds of people they would choose if they were recruiting codebreakers. As they watch, have students record the kind of members asked to join the Station X team and the characteristics they possessed.

After Watching

  1. Discuss with students the kind of qualities necessary for a team to work as effectively as the one at Station X. Did students see any of the characteristics they chose before watching? Did the codebreakers include any characteristics students had not considered?

Teacher's Guide
Decoding Nazi Secrets
BUY THE VIDEO PROGRAM OVERVIEW VIEWING IDEAS CLASSROOM ACTIVITY IDEAS FROM TEACHERS RELATED NOVA RESOURCES INTERACTIVE FOR STUDENTS