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Secrets of the Code Talkers

1 Class Period

Students will decode a message and view segments from The Warrior Tradition. They will learn about the role of the code talkers during World War II and discover how a Native language served as an unbreakable “secret” code and weapon against the enemies.

Program Segment

  • Image of Native Americans and Stereotypes (approximately 18 ½ minutes)
code talkers
The Warrior Tradition

Image of Native Americans and Stereotypes


Discover the diversity of Native American culture and how they have dealt with stereotypes


Students will be able to:

  • Understand the role of the code talker during World War II.
  • Discover how a Native language served as an unbreakable “secret” code and weapon against the enemies.

Instructional Resources

"Spirit Talker" statue at the Comanche Indian Veterans Association Court of Honor


  1. The teacher will begin by telling the students:
    • “I have a secret message about today’s lesson. You will use the key to decode the secret message. When you have solved the message please stand by your desk. Remember it’s a secret, so don’t tell what it is until I call on someone.”
  2. The teacher will distribute the Code Talkers Worksheet and read the directions aloud with the students to check for understanding of task.
  3. When all students have completed the Code Talkers Worksheet, the teacher will split the class into 3-4 groups and explain the next task:
    • “I will give each group different color sticky notes.We will watch a segment from the program The Warrior Tradition. You will write notes about what a Code Talker did during World War II – one idea per sticky note.After we finish watching the segment, I will call you up by groups to place your sticky notes on the board.”
  4. The teacher will read aloud what the students captured on the sticky notes.
  5. The teacher will fill in any missing information for the students about the Code Talkers’ role during World War II.
  6. The teacher will explain:
    • "At the end of class today you will complete an exit ticket.You will list 3 things you learned about Code Talkers from today’s lesson.List one thing you didn’t understand.List anything you would like to know more about.”

Assessment Tasks

  • Students will turn in a Code Talkers Worksheet.
  • Groups of students will participate in the sticky note activity.
  • Students will turn in an exit ticket.

Extension Activities (optional)

National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies – Thematic Strands

  1. Culture
  2. Individuals, Groups & Institutions
  3. Global Connections