Saturday, August 9, 2014


August 14th is National Navajo Code Talkers Day.

Navajo "Code Talkers" used their native language as the basis of a cipher that confounded the Japanese military during World War II. Think of the importance of those code talkers!

The study of codes and ciphers is called cryptography from the Greek kryptos or hidden and graphia or writing. Codes are different from ciphers. When you substitute one word for another word or sentence, you are using a code. When you mix up or substitute existing letters, you are using a cipher.

Simple secret codes are:

Mirror Writing – write message so that when it is held up to a mirror, the words are easily read

Reverse the Words - read the words backwards

Half-Reversed Alphabet - write out the letters from A to M then write the letters from N to Z directly below them

Read Every Second Letter - read every second letter starting at the first letter, and when you finish, start again on the letters you missed

And how cool is it that the CIA has a website for breaking codes?

Below are a few code books for kids: 

Top Secret Code Book

Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing
Super Little Giant Book of Secret Codes

For motivation in language or math or for just having fun, codes are super fun!


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