Activation: Can you break this code?
Exploration: What are we afraid of?
Discussion: Was a "Secret War" necessary to our success in the Second World War?

Lesson Duration

1 class period (75 minutes)

Lesson Materials 


Print and Prepare “Learning Centres” for this lesson. These can be found in the Secret War Resources PDF. 

Arrange tables in your classroom into 6 groups (4 or 5 desks at each group).

Notes For Educators

You can adjust the number of Learning Centres accordingly by selecting relevant content for your students. Knowing your learners will determine whether you run 4 or 6 centres.

You can expand each centre to include further research by students into the topics presented. I find that students are readily curious in this lesson.

Role-playing, props, or “spy clothes” are welcome additions to this lesson.

Additional Resources

Uncommon Courage (online book from Veteran’s Affairs Canada)

Camp X - Canadian Encyclopedia

“The Secret Life of Women Spies” from the Toronto Star, 2008

Private SNAFU - Cartoon Propaganda (including racist portrayals) Video (3:45)

“X-Company” is a modern day Canadian series about the historical events of Canadian spies and spy training at Camp X in the Second World War

Second World War Propaganda Poster about “Spies”

Other Posters

Camp X - official site  

Article: “Camp X has rich history as Canadian Spy School”

Secret War content from BBC Schools

The Enigma Machine - Information and Video Clips

Code Breaking in WWII

Unbreakable Canadian Codes in WWII - Cree Code-talkers



Photo Credit: CBC Archives

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