Tuesday, July 9

Alex Rider - Secret Weapon + Spies Unit Study

In 'The Art of War,' Sun Tzu says, "One who knows the enemy and knows himself will not be endangered in a hundred engagements."

Some spies you may have heard of include Mata HariElizabeth Van LewNathan Hale, and Edward Snowden, but the most successful spies are the folks whose name you've never heard!  

Spying has existed since ancient times, and has affected the outcome of our world history...

  • During the American Revolution, George Washington developed the Culper Ring to collect information about the British.  Some say this group still exists today...
  • The Pinkerton Detective Agency was founded during the American Civil War.  The agency thwarted an early assassination attempt on Lincoln and often went undercover in the Confederate ranks to gather intelligence.
  • Spy novels became popular in the early twentieth century, as threats of conflict brought a sense of fear and tension and interest in espionage.
  • The First World War brought a Dutch dancer, Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, to the European stage, where she was able to mingle with officers of many nationalities.  This German spy was eventually caught and executed in 1917, but not before sending intelligence for nearly two years.  You know her as Mata Hari.
  • After World War I, President Roosevelt developed the OSS - Office of Strategic Services - which eventually turned into the CIA.  The office's main purpose was to serve the intelligence community, including turning 'double agents.'
  • It was later discovered that during the Second World War many Soviet 'sleeper agents' were 'planted' in America.
  • The Cold War was an active period for spies from both the USA and USSR, as well as many European countries.  Berlin, being a divided city, was a battlefield of spies!
  • In the USA today, there are seventeen different intelligence agencies!  The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was created specifically to help these agencies share information.  As technology improves, so do spy techniques...
Our spine novel for this series is one of the:

Access more novel studies in the Fantasy & Fiction Novel Studies Bundle!

Includes eight novel studies covering the fantasy and fiction genre. Each novel addresses a new topic, primarily falling into social studies and language arts categories.
  • Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.
  • There are photographs and illustrations, and we have also included primary documents when available.
  • After this text, there are featured videos, which augment the background information and help make the topic more accessible for more visual students.
  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including one featured novel – the spine of the unit.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the era to life.
  • Some units also have cooking projects.
These studies are directed toward upper grades students, but some have resources for younger students so that the whole family can work together. Our family has used unit studies as curriculum for many years, and we hope that your family will enjoy these, too!

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