Author Feature-Janet Fox

 


Spirit of Texas Reading Program

Middle School

Featured Author

Nikki Loftin

Janet Fox

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle


 

Janet Fox is a former teacher and a writer of fiction and nonfiction. She is the author of the award-winning Get Organized Without Losing it, written for middle-school children. She has written two young adult novels, Faithful and Forgiven, companion novels. She is a graduate of the MFA/Writing for Children and Young Adults program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Janet lives with her husband and their college-age son in the mountains of Montana.


 

 

Find her on the web:

Website

 


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Book Trailer

 

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Book Quiz

 

Printable Copy

 

1. What are the charms on Great-Aunt Margaret’s chatelaine that was given to Kat?
 
A. Pen, scissors, and thimble
 
B. Fish, cat, and mirror
 
C. Scissors, knife, and cup
 
D. Key, the number 13, and watch
 
 
 
 2. What does Marie do every night to ensure that there are no night wanderers?
 
A. Gives everyone hot cocoa
 
B. Tucks everyone into bed
 
C. Locks the children in their rooms
 
D. Stands guard outside their rooms
 
 
 
3. What spell does Katherine use to make the scissors cut the charms off the children?
 
A. Abracadabra
 
B. Swish and swoosh
 
C. Measure twice, cut once
 
D. Cut to the chase or all is waste
 
 
 
4. What was the first charm given?
 
A. A heart
 
B. A fish
 
C. A cat
 
D. A watch
 
 
 
5. How does Eleanor keep abreast of the news and secrets of war as well as the doings of all those within the castle?
 
A. The rooks feed her the news
 
B. Marie reports the children’s actions
 
C. Closed circuit cameras
 
D. Crystal ball
 
 
 
6. What does Eleanor tell Kat and the rest of the children is wrong with Jorry when he doesn’t appear for breakfast?
 
A. Broken leg
 
B. Depressed
 
C. He is very sick
 
D. He has the pneumonia
 
 
 
7. How many charms does Lady Eleanor have on her chatelaine?
 
A. 3
 
B. 13
 
C. 10
 
D. 8
 
 
 
8. Why are Kat and the other children sent to Rookskill Castle?
 
A. Excellent school
 
B. The Americans are invading Germany
 
C. London is being bombed by the Germans
 
D. The Germans are invading Poland
 
 
 
9. What is the wireless used for?
 
A. Short wave radio communication
 
B. Phone calls
 
C. Spying on the Germans
 
D. Listening to music
 
 
 
10. What spell does Kat use with the pen to begin her defeat of Lady Eleanor?
 
A. Expecto Patronum
 
B. A stich in time saves nine
 
C. The pen is mightier that the sword
 
D. Children should be seen and not heard
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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Academic Program

 

Printable Copy of Program

Supplemental Documents

Blackout Poetry Examples

Flyer 1

Flyer 2

Timeline Template

 

 

Activity 1

Title

Blackout Poetry

 

Introduction

In the book, The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle, the children are whisked away from London because of the Blitz.  As they are traveling to Rookskill Castle they are reminded to pull the blackout curtains and remain quiet. 

 

TEKS

Language Arts 6, 7, 8

Writing/Literary Texts. Students write literary texts to express their ideas and feelings about real or imagined people, events, and ideas. Students are expected to:

(15) (B)  write poems using:

(i)  poetic techniques (e.g., alliteration, onomatopoeia);

(ii)  figurative language (e.g., similes, metaphors); and

(iii)  graphic elements (e.g., capital letters, line length).

(4)  Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/Poetry. Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about the structure and elements of poetry and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to explain how figurative language (e.g., personification, metaphors, similes, hyperbole) contributes to the meaning of a poem.

(8)  Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/Sensory Language. Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about how an author's sensory language creates imagery in literary text and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to explain how authors create meaning through stylistic elements and figurative language emphasizing the use of personification, hyperbole, and refrains.

(15)  Writing/Literary Texts. Students write literary texts to express their ideas and feelings about real or imagined people, events, and ideas. Students are expected to:

 (B)  write poems using:

(i)  poetic techniques (e.g., alliteration, onomatopoeia);

(ii)  figurative language (e.g., similes, metaphors); and

(iii)  graphic elements (e.g., capital letters, line length).

 

 

 

Detailed Description

 

Step 1

Students will watch short video about the London Blitz. Discuss use of blackout curtains and the need for safe havens.

Step 2

Brainstorm a list of reactions to the video.

Step 3

Share examples of blackout poetry.

Step 4

Give students pages from a withdrawn/damaged book or magazine.

Instruct students to scan the page first before reading it completely.  Tell them to look for key words that will help illustrate possible themes for their poem.

Step 5

Instruct students to circle any words that help illustrate their theme as they read the text in its entirety. 

Step 6

Using a pencil, lightly design the image you wish to create; boxing words that share the student’s creative vision.

Step 7

Illustration or design the page of text so that it connects to the poem.  Using sharpies and markers, blackout the text that is not needed to convey the poetic message.

Step 8

Share created poems on a bulletin board outside the library. 

 

Optional: In Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle, Kat utilizes colloquial sayings as magic spells to break the charms.   Students can create a poem/saying about a charm that they pull out of a bag. (A bag of 100 charms can be purchased from Amazon.com for about 10.00)

 

Books to Display

Janeczko, Paul. A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2001. Print.

Kleon, Austin.  Newspaper Blackout.  New York: Harper Perennial, 2010

Raczka, Bob. Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems.  New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2016.

 

Supply List

 

1.     Examples of blackout poems

2.    Pages from discarded/withdrawn books or magazines

3.    Sharpies, markers, pencils

4.    Bag of miscellaneous charms

 

Possible Incentives (optional)

Finished product

 

Activity Resources

 

Blackout Poetry Flyer (2 versions)

Blackout Poetry examples

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vWiJBlwcT4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxsMWAEpHxU#t=136.980784

http://textileandtype.com/blackout-poety-poems-even-middle-schoolers-love-writing/

 

 

 

Other Resources

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/blog-posts/john-depasquale/blackout-poetry/

https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005437

http://www.homesweethomefront.co.uk/web_pages/hshf_blackout_pg.htm

 

 

Living Voices : Multicultural Poetry In The Middle School Classr

 

Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

 

Activity 2

 

Title

A Tale of Two Countries Timeline

 

Introduction

Lady Eleanor has lived through some troubling times.  To get a better picture of what was going on in the world during Lady Eleanor’s time, students will utilize research skills to identify significant events to create a timeline.

 

TEKS

Social Studies

Grade 6 & 7

(21)  Social studies skills. The student applies critical-thinking skills to organize and use information acquired through established research methodologies from a variety of valid sources, including electronic technology. The student is expected to:

 (C)  organize and interpret information from outlines, reports, databases, and visuals, including graphs, charts, timelines, and maps;

(D)  identify points of view from the historical context surrounding an event and the frame of reference that influenced the participants;

 

Grade 8

29)  Social studies skills. The student applies critical-thinking skills to organize and use information acquired through established research methodologies from a variety of valid sources, including electronic technology. The student is expected to:

 (B)  analyze information by sequencing, categorizing, identifying cause-and-effect relationships, comparing, contrasting, finding the main idea, summarizing, making generalizations and predictions, and drawing inferences and conclusions;

 

Detailed Description

 

Step 1

Give every student a copy of the timeline template. Students may work individually or in pairs.  Discuss the reasons for the chosen years for research.  (Events in the novel occurred during those years.)

 

Step 2

Explain to students that they are going to use their research skills to discover the key aspects of each year highlighted in the novel (1746, 1863, and 1940).  Allow students to research using resources listed in the activity resources list.

 

 

Step 3

Students are to identify the rulers for Great Britain and the United States for each year on the timeline, as well as key events that occurred during that time period.  Identifying inventions developed during each time period reinforces how far we have come as a society.

 

 

Step 4

Students will write down the information on the timeline templates and share what they discovered with the class.

 

Step 5

 Create a class timeline with students contributing information to the whole.

 

Optional

Create a chronological timeline of the events in Eleanor’s life. 

 

Books to Display

 

Roberts, J. M.. Modern History:  From the European Age to the New Global Era. London: Duncan Baird Publishers, Ltd, 2007. Print.

 

Harness, Cheryl. The Tragic Tale of Narcissa Whitman and a Faithful History of the Oregon Trail. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2006. Print.

 

 

 

Bell, Amy Helen. London Was Ours: Diaries and Memories of the London Blitz. New York: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd, 2008. Print.

Harris, Carol. Blitz Diary: Life under Fire in World War II.  Unknown: History Press, 2010. Print.

 

Supply List

Computers or devices for research

Timeline template

 

Activity Resources

Timeline Template

 

“1700-1799 (A.D.) World History.” Infoplease, Sandbox Networks, Inc, n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001231.html

 

"Dates in History by Year." On This Day.  On This Day, n.d. Web. 5 Mar.. 2017.

http://www.onthisday.com/dates-by-year.php

 

“Espionage and the SOE.”  The History Press, The History Press, n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.

, http://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/world-war-ii/espionage-and-the-soe/

 

The 1800’s From 1800 to 1919.” The People History. The People History, n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.

http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1860to1869.html

 

"The Battle of Culloden.”. Historic UK. Historic UK, n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.

http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryMagazine/DestinationsUK/The-Battle-of-Culloden/

 

"World History Timeline." Macrohistory: Worldhistory. Frank E. Smitha, n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.

http://www.fsmitha.com/time/ce18-5.htm

 

 

 

Possible Incentives

 

Finished product

 

Other Resources

 

 

 

 

If you have questions or comments for the Young Adult Round Table, contact the YART webmaster.

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The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle Academic Program

 

Activity 1

Title

Blackout Poetry

 

Introduction

In the book, The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle, the children are whisked away from London because of the Blitz.  As they are traveling to Rookskill Castle they are reminded to pull the blackout curtains and remain quiet. 

 

TEKS

Language Arts 6, 7, 8

Writing/Literary Texts. Students write literary texts to express their ideas and feelings about real or imagined people, events, and ideas. Students are expected to:

(15) (B)  write poems using:

(i)  poetic techniques (e.g., alliteration, onomatopoeia);

(ii)  figurative language (e.g., similes, metaphors); and

(iii)  graphic elements (e.g., capital letters, line length).

(4)  Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/Poetry. Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about the structure and elements of poetry and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to explain how figurative language (e.g., personification, metaphors, similes, hyperbole) contributes to the meaning of a poem.

(8)  Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/Sensory Language. Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about how an author's sensory language creates imagery in literary text and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to explain how authors create meaning through stylistic elements and figurative language emphasizing the use of personification, hyperbole, and refrains.

(15)  Writing/Literary Texts. Students write literary texts to express their ideas and feelings about real or imagined people, events, and ideas. Students are expected to:

 (B)  write poems using:

(i)  poetic techniques (e.g., alliteration, onomatopoeia);

(ii)  figurative language (e.g., similes, metaphors); and

(iii)  graphic elements (e.g., capital letters, line length).

 

 

 

Detailed Description

 

Step 1

Students will watch short video about the London Blitz. Discuss use of blackout curtains and the need for safe havens.

Step 2

Brainstorm a list of reactions to the video.

Step 3

Share examples of blackout poetry.

Step 4

Give students pages from a withdrawn/damaged book or magazine.

Instruct students to scan the page first before reading it completely.  Tell them to look for key words that will help illustrate possible themes for their poem.

Step 5

Instruct students to circle any words that help illustrate their theme as they read the text in its entirety. 

Step 6

Using a pencil, lightly design the image you wish to create; boxing words that share the student’s creative vision.

Step 7

Illustration or design the page of text so that it connects to the poem.  Using sharpies and markers, blackout the text that is not needed to convey the poetic message.

Step 8

Share created poems on a bulletin board outside the library. 

 

Optional: In Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle, Kat utilizes colloquial sayings as magic spells to break the charms.   Students can create a poem/saying about a charm that they pull out of a bag. (A bag of 100 charms can be purchased from Amazon.com for about 10.00)

 

Books to Display

 

Janeczko, Paul. A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2001. Print.

Kleon, Austin.  Newspaper Blackout.  New York: Harper Perennial, 2010

Raczka, Bob. Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems.  New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2016.

 

Supply List

 

1.     Examples of blackout poems

2.    Pages from discarded/withdrawn books or magazines

3.    Sharpies, markers, pencils

4.    Bag of miscellaneous charms

 

Possible Incentives (optional)

Finished product

 

Activity Resources

 

Blackout Poetry Flyer (2 versions)

Blackout Poetry examples

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vWiJBlwcT4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxsMWAEpHxU#t=136.980784

http://textileandtype.com/blackout-poety-poems-even-middle-schoolers-love-writing/

 

 

 

Other Resources

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/blog-posts/john-depasquale/blackout-poetry/

https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005437

http://www.homesweethomefront.co.uk/web_pages/hshf_blackout_pg.htm

 

 

Living Voices : Multicultural Poetry In The Middle School Classr

 

Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

 

Activity 2

 

Title

A Tale of Two Countries Timeline

 

Introduction

Lady Eleanor has lived through some troubling times.  To get a better picture of what was going on in the world during Lady Eleanor’s time, students will utilize research skills to identify significant events to create a timeline.

 

TEKS

Social Studies

Grade 6 & 7

(21)  Social studies skills. The student applies critical-thinking skills to organize and use information acquired through established research methodologies from a variety of valid sources, including electronic technology. The student is expected to:

 (C)  organize and interpret information from outlines, reports, databases, and visuals, including graphs, charts, timelines, and maps;

(D)  identify points of view from the historical context surrounding an event and the frame of reference that influenced the participants;

 

Grade 8

29)  Social studies skills. The student applies critical-thinking skills to organize and use information acquired through established research methodologies from a variety of valid sources, including electronic technology. The student is expected to:

 (B)  analyze information by sequencing, categorizing, identifying cause-and-effect relationships, comparing, contrasting, finding the main idea, summarizing, making generalizations and predictions, and drawing inferences and conclusions;

 

Detailed Description

 

Step 1

Give every student a copy of the timeline template. Students may work individually or in pairs.  Discuss the reasons for the chosen years for research.  (Events in the novel occurred during those years.)

 

Step 2

Explain to students that they are going to use their research skills to discover the key aspects of each year highlighted in the novel (1746, 1863, and 1940).  Allow students to research using resources listed in the activity resources list.

 

 

Step 3

Students are to identify the rulers for Great Britain and the United States for each year on the timeline, as well as key events that occurred during that time period.  Identifying inventions developed during each time period reinforces how far we have come as a society.

 

 

Step 4

Students will write down the information on the timeline templates and share what they discovered with the class.

 

Step 5

 Create a class timeline with students contributing information to the whole.

 

Optional

Create a chronological timeline of the events in Eleanor’s life. 

 

Books to Display

 

Roberts, J. M.. Modern History:  From the European Age to the New Global Era. London: Duncan Baird Publishers, Ltd, 2007. Print.

 

Harness, Cheryl. The Tragic Tale of Narcissa Whitman and a Faithful History of the Oregon Trail. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2006. Print.

 

 

 

Bell, Amy Helen. London Was Ours: Diaries and Memories of the London Blitz. New York: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd, 2008. Print.

Harris, Carol. Blitz Diary: Life under Fire in World War II.  Unknown: History Press, 2010. Print.

 

Supply List

Computers or devices for research

Timeline template

 

Activity Resources

Timeline Template

 

“1700-1799 (A.D.) World History.” Infoplease, Sandbox Networks, Inc, n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001231.html

 

"Dates in History by Year." On This Day.  On This Day, n.d. Web. 5 Mar.. 2017.

http://www.onthisday.com/dates-by-year.php

 

“Espionage and the SOE.”  The History Press, The History Press, n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.

, http://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/world-war-ii/espionage-and-the-soe/

 

The 1800’s From 1800 to 1919.” The People History. The People History, n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.

http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1860to1869.html

 

"The Battle of Culloden.”. Historic UK. Historic UK, n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.

http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryMagazine/DestinationsUK/The-Battle-of-Culloden/

 

"World History Timeline." Macrohistory: Worldhistory. Frank E. Smitha, n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.

http://www.fsmitha.com/time/ce18-5.htm

 

 

 

Possible Incentives

 

Finished product

 

Other Resources

 

 



Active Programs

 

Printable Copy of Program

Supplemental Documents

Blank Spy Handbook

Cipher Bookmarks


 

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

 

Active Program 1

 

Program Title

 

Create Your Own Chatelaine

 

Introduction/Purpose of Program 

Chatelaines are a small belt or pin worn at the waist from which useful or important tools were suspended by chains and could be considered the 19th century equivalent to present day keychains or Swiss Army knives. They were also worn by some as decorative adornments.

 

 

Description of the Program

Students will create their own chatelaine using the supplies provided and/or by adding their own items. Instructions provided below.

This can be as simple as an extra-large safety pin decorated with beads or a lobster clasp and split ring key fob. Or, for a more elaborate (albeit more expensive) alternative, use a tea infuser ball.

Here are a few possibilities:

 

Ribbon or necklace chain or cording or wire.

 

Here are additional possibilities:

 

Beads and charms

            

Depending on which of the above supplies you use, you may also need:

Jump rings, split rings, clasps, crimps, and needle-nose pliers.

 

For this example, I made myself a chatelaine to use for sewing/crafting purposes. I needed it to hold thread, small scissors, a needle-threader, and extra needles. As my decorative centerpiece, I used a decorative tea strainer to hold and organize my thread, as shown here:

  

I took the floral wire and wrapped it around the ring of the lobster clasp/key fob.

 

I threaded beads onto the wire and secured the ends by threading the wire through the holes of the tea strainer:

 

 

Another option is to attach the tools/charms to the ends of the beaded wire instead and the lobster clasp/key fob to the split ring.

 

 

Program Related Books to Display or Book Talk 

Cool Beaded Jewelry by Pam Scheunemann Abdo Pub. 2005

Junk Drawer Jewelry by Rachel Di Salle, Kids Can Press 2006

Jewelry Tips & Tricks by Emma Carlson Berne, Lerner Publications Company, 2016

 

 

List of Supplies

 Centerpiece from which chains are hung. This can be as simple as an extra-large safety pin decorated with beads or a lobster clasp and split ring key fob. Or, for a more elaborate (albeit more expensive) alternative, use a tea infuser ball.

Ribbon or necklace chain or cording or wire. 

Beads and charms

You may also need:

Jump rings, split rings, clasps, crimps, and needle-nose pliers.

 

 

Incentives (Optional) Completed Chatelaine

 

Resources (print and electronic)

http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/the-killer-mobile-device-for-victorian-women/

 

 

 

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

 

Active Program 2

 

Program Title

Spy School

 

Introduction/Purpose of Program

 

The possibility of spies occupying a secret room of Rookskill Castle features prominently in the story. This program will introduce students to the skills and tactics used by World War II era spies.

 

Description of the Program

 

Spy School – Embrace your inner James Bond and become an expert at espionage in no time.

 

Plan a series of missions (activities) where students can develop their spy skills. For example:

 

Mission 1: Code Writing - Provide students with books and other resources describing various types of ciphers and codes. Use one of the codes to write a secret message and have the students attempt to break the code. Or have them create their own code, write their own secret message and see if another student can decipher the code. http://www.instructables.com/id/Best-Codes/

 

Mission 2: Memory Training - provide a tray or box of miscellaneous objects. Give the students 30 seconds to view the items. Out of sight of the students, remove several items from the box. See if the students can recall the missing items.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim's_Game

 

Mission 3: Invisible Ink - using the video link below, choose one or more types of invisible ink making techniques. Have students determine which method produces the best results

 

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-an-Invisible-Ink-Message

 

Mission 4: Stealth Skills - To develop their stealth skills, create a maze of crisscrossed string or yarn and have the students attempt to work their way through the maze without touching any of the stings.

 

http://allastonishment.blogspot.com/2010/02/in-which-we-are-stealthy.html

 

Program Related Books to Display or Book Talk

 

You Wouldn’t Want to be a Secret Agent During World War II! : a perilous mission behind enemy lines by John Malam. Salariya Book Company, 2010

 

Top Secret Files: World War II by Stephanie Bearce. Prufrock Press, Inc. 2015

 

Stealing Nazi Secrets in World War II: an interactive espionage adventure by Elizabeth Raum. Capstone Press 2016

 

Intelligence and Counterintelligence: cryptography: cracking codes by Rob Curley. Britannica Educational Publishing 2013

 

List of Supplies                    

 

Supplies to make Invisible Ink: using the video link below, choose one or more types of invisible ink making techniques

 

String or yarn – To develop their stealth skills, create a maze of crisscrossed string or yarn and have the students attempt to work their way through the maze without touching any of the stings

 

Memory skills – provide a tray or box of miscellaneous objects. Give the students 30 seconds to view that items. Out of sight of the students, remove several items from the array of objects. See if the students can recall the missing items.

 

Incentives (Optional)

If you’d like, you can create challenges at each “mission” and provide prizes for those who complete all the challenges successfully; i.e. graduate from spy school. Spy-centric items are a plus.

 

Activity Resources (print and electronic)

Spy Handbook template

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-an-Invisible-Ink-Message

 

Professional Resources (for librarian and teacher use)

You Wouldn’t Want to be a Secret Agent During World War II! : a perilous mission behind enemy lines by John Malam. Salariya Book Company, 2010

 

Top Secret Files: World War II by Stephanie Bearce. Prufrock Press, Inc. 2015

 

Stealing Nazi Secrets in World War II: an interactive espionage adventure by Elizabeth Raum. Capstone Press 2016

 

Intelligence and Counterintelligence: cryptography: cracking codes by Rob Curley. Britannica Educational Publishing 2013

 

Online Resources:

International Spy Museum 

http://www.spymuseum.org/ 

International Spy Museum – Spy for a Day Student Spy Guide 

https://spy-museum.s3.amazonaws.com/files/spyforaday.pdf

Codes and Ciphers

http://www.instructables.com/id/Best-Codes/

 

Program Flyers, Posters, Advertisements, Bulletin Board Ideas, Templates, Rubrics, etc. 

Spy Handbook template

 

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

 

 

 

Active Program 3

 

Beat the Clock

 

Introduction/Purpose of Program

 

In Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle, the author introduces the reader to codes and the role they played in World War II.  In this activity, patrons attempt to decipher codes before time (or the song) plays out. 

 

Detailed Description of Activity

 

  1. Print a copy of Cipher bookmarks for each patron. Each cipher is a quote from the book.  Patrons may work in groups or individually.
  2. Create a Spy music playlist on Youtube or Spotify.  I used the following songs for my playlist:  Theme from Mission Impossible, Theme from Get Smart, The Pink Panther Theme , Theme from Austin Powers, Secret Agent Man by Johnny Rivers, and The James Bond Theme.

 

3.   Explain to patrons the different types of ciphers that were used. 

Simple letter substitutions as in numbers 1 and 5 (lower case only) bookmarks  

Key word alphabet shift as in number 2 bookmark

Reverse alphabet as in number 3 bookmark

Caesarian shift with N=10 as in number 4 bookmark

 

  1. Practice with bookmark #1 by explaining the code used and playing a song from the playlist.
  2. Continue with the other bookmarks and different songs.

 

Books to Display 

Underground Bro Decoder by Mickey and Cheryl Gill

The Spy’s Guide to Secret Codes and Ciphers by Jim Wiese

39 Clues series by Rick Riordan, Jude Watson, Gordon Korman, Peter Lerangis, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Patrick Carmen, and Linda Sue Park

The Potato Chip Puzzles by Eric Berlin

The Puzzler’s Mansion by Eric Berlin

The Puzzling world of Winston Breen by Eric Berlin

See Read-A-Like List

 

 

Activity Supply List

Cipher Bookmarks

Blank sheets of paper used for deciphering

Pencils

Spy music playlist

Device to play music from

 

 

Incentives

Completed bookmarks

  

Resources (print and electronic)

Cipher Bookmark pdf

Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle Quotes list

 

Professional Resources (for librarian and teacher use)

Types of Ciphers explained:  http://rumkin.com/tools/cipher/

 Cipher creator website:  http://stevenhansen.info/cipher/

 


If you have questions or comments for the Young Adult Round Table, contact the YART webmaster.

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Passive Program

 

Printable Copy of Program

Supplemental Documents

Caesar Solver Page 1

Caesar Solver Page 2

Code Name Symbols

Cryptography Worksheet

Secret Agent Badge

Secret Agent Code Name Selector

 

 

Activity #1 Title

 

Break the Code

 

 

Activity Introduction

In Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle, the author introduces the reader to codes and the role they played in World War II. In this activity, patrons can create hidden messages and codes to share with friends.

 

 

 

Detailed Description of Activity

Go to https://www.cia.gov/kids-page/games/break-the-code

Read the instructions on the screen:

First, select code you wish to decipher.

Follow the directions on the screen as you begin substituting letters in the code.

Click “verify code” when you are ready.

Decipher as many of the codes are you would like.

 

Or, create your own code using a cipher wheel.

 

Follow the directions on the handout to create codes to baffle your friends.

 

 

 

Books to Display

Underground Bro Decoder

The Spy’s Guide to Secret Codes and Ciphers

39 Clues series

The Potato Chip Puzzles

The Puzzler’s Mansion

The Puzzling world of Winston Breen

See Read-A-Like List

 

 

 

Activity Supply List

A computer or device

Blank note paper for working out codes

Cipher wheel PDF handout

Scissors, paperclip, and brad.

 

Incentives

Code deciphered.

Cipher wheel.

 

 

 

Activity Resources

Cesar Code Solver

Cesar Code Solver codes

Cryptography Worksheet — The Caesar Shift

 

 

 

Activity Resources for Teens, Teachers & Librarians

http://www.kristenkittscher.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/YoungAndYangsGuidetoSpying.pdf

https://www.cia.gov/kids-page/games/break-the-code

http://crypto.interactive-maths.com/uploads/1/1/3/4/11345755/shift.pdf

 

 

 

Activity #2 Title 

Alias Smith and Jones

 

Activity Introduction 

In Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle the tutor, Mr. Storm is actually a German spy.  His real name is Sturm.  Everyone needs a good alias now and then, so patrons will have the opportunity to create their own spy name with this activity.  Patrons can use a spy name generator online or utilize one which allows them to randomly pull names from jars. 

 

Detailed Description of Activity

 

For online spy name generator have patrons go to http://www.codenamegenerator.com/

 

Follow directions on the website.  Patrons create code names based upon their chosen categories for prefix, dictionary, and suffix.  (Example:  I chose colors for my prefix and unusual animals for my dictionary categories.  I chose not to use a suffix.   My code name is Red Okapi.) 

 

Patrons can take this a step further by using the secret agent badge template to create their personalized ID badge.

 

Alternate code name generator

 

Brainstorm a list of nouns and write each one on a slip of paper.  Fold and place in a jar.  Next, generate a list of adjectives, writing each one on a slip of paper.  Fold and place in a second jar.  Make sure there are plenty of slips for everyone.  Allow patrons to pull one slip of paper out of each jar and use that as their code name.  Some possible names include the Black Thorn, Screaming Boar, and Blue Diamond.

 

Once a patron has created their code name give them a copy of the secret agent ID badge.

 

Patrons can even create a symbol for their code name and make calling cards to leave at the scene.

 

Books to Display

Can I See Your ID?

Spy School

See Read-A-Like List

 

 

 

Activity Supply List
computer or device with access to the internet

Secret agent ID badge pdf

2 jars (if using manual alias generator)

slips of paper

 

Incentives

An alias or secret agent code name.

An ID badge.

 

Activity Resources 

 

Secret Agent Badge Template

Secret Agent Code Name Selector

 

 

 

Activity Resources for Teens, Teachers & Librarians

http://www.topspysecrets.com/kids-spy-equipment-for-free.html

http://www.simonemadeit.com/secret-codes-for-kids-top-secret-messages/

 

 

 

 

 

Activity #3 Title

Calling Card Match Game

 

Activity Introduction

Extension: Patrons can create a symbol for their code name and make calling cards to leave at the “scene of the crime”.  Create a bulletin board with spy names and symbols.  Favorite books could even be written in code.  Allow patrons to guess the book titles or create their own.  For example:  Queen of Hearts seeks White Rabbit could be code for Alice in Wonderland or I <3 641.3 for I love chocolate.

 

 

 

Detailed Description of Activity

Once patrons have created their code name give them an index card and encourage them to design a symbol for their code name.  Patrons may search online for symbols to use or use wingdings or webdings to create a quick symbol.  Post symbols on a bulletin board and allow patrons to guess the code names based upon the symbols.  This can be a matching game on the bulletin board or even guess the code of the day.

 

 

 

Books to Display 

See Read- A-Like list

 

 

 

Activity Supply List

Index cards

Markers, crayons, or colored pencils

pencils

Computer or device with internet access

Code name symbols pdf

 

 

Incentives

A final product.

 

 

 

Activity Resources 

Code Name Symbols

 

 

Activity Resources for Teens, Teachers & Librarians

http://onecreativemommy.com/spy-birthday-party-spy-training/

http://www.topspysecrets.com/kids-spy-equipment-for-free.html

 

 


If you have questions or comments for the Young Adult Round Table, contact the YART webmaster

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Created on Mar 7, 2017 | Last updated April 17, 2017