I love getting my students up and out of their seats and become active learners with my lessons. This activity is fun for any age group studying World War II. Steps:
1. Teach your students the importance the Navajo Indians had with helping disguise messages towards the end of WWII with the Island Hopping Campaign.
2. Discuss with students different ways messages have been disguised in the past.
3. Review the following website with your class. http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq61-2.htm This website will give them the formula to using the Navajo Dictionary.
4. You will then want to go to this website and print out some dictionaries for your class.
You will need to explain that some words are already defined...words that were used very often.
5. Have students choose one word from the list I have provided.
6. Once everyone has a word or at least every small group, have them work together to define the word in the Navajo language.
7. They will then transfer their definition on a large piece of construction paper to be displayed around the room on the walls.
8. When students turn in their work check their answers for accuracy.
9. Once you have received all of the students answers, number each large piece of paper to be displayed around the room. For example, I would place a large number 1 with a circle around on it on one paper and then a 2 on another.
10. The second day of class students will walk around the room and fill out their sheet. They will have to define each of their classmates codes and write the definition next to the number. For example, the definition for number 1 will go on like number 1 on the answer sheet.
11. This activity will reinforce what they did the previous day.
12. Make sure you have enough copies of the dictionary for every small group or individual person.
13. Hint: Make yourself an answer key so you can check you students work.
Good Luck!!! & Have fun.
Maybe even give your students an incentive for the first one done with all the correct answers. This activity will take 2 40 minute class periods.