Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Navajo Code Talkers and supports the standard of analyzing their contributions to the outcome of World War II. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Ask students:

  • What traditions or practices are important in your culture?

Step 2: BUILD KNOWLEDGE

  • Read the description on the Navajo Code Talkers topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the four Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Students take the Navajo Code Talkers Challenge and Quiz, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Step 4: EXTEND and DEEPEN

Students express what they learned about the Navajo Code Talkers while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a mini-documentary about the Navajo Code Talkers that answers this question: How did Navajo culture and history influence their success during World War II?
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map identifying and explaining the Navajo Code Talkers’ contributions to the Allies’ victory in World War II.   
  • Creative Coding: Code a digital museum exhibit featuring artifacts and figures to represent Navajo history, culture, and contributions. 

More to Explore 

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of individuals’ contributions to World War II efforts with these topics: Grace Hopper and Alan Turing.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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