mpUSF's WebQuest 

Title: A visit to Bletchley Park

Grade Level: 9 through 12       

Author:   Gary J. Becea            

Date:  March 20, 2005

Dear Colleague:  Welcome to "A visit to Bletchley Park".  This unit plan is designed to guide students through the History of the Bletchley Park codebreaking activities in Britain during WWII and its effects upon the post war world and computer science.  The unit combines lecture, video resources, individual plus group research and a student webquest.  Students should come away with the understanding of the importance of codebreaking operations to Allied strategy and tactical operations, be able to theorize as to how much the codebreakers shortened (or not) the war, and understand Bletchley Park's impact upon the development of computer science.

 

Teacher's Page

Unit Summary Teacher's Resources Day 1 Lesson Day 2 Lesson
Day 3 Lesson Day 4 Lesson Day 5 Lesson Day 6 Lesson
Day 7 Lesson Conclusion Student's Web Quest  

                  

Unit Summary:

1.  Students will study the operations, machinery, and people involved with codes and codebreaking in the European Theater during WWII.

2.  Students will discover Bletchley Park's impact upon Allied strategy/tactical operations and assess the importance of those operations.

3.  Students will be able to trace the impact of Bletchley Park upon the development of Computer Science.
   
     
   
Days:
 

7 Days


    Content:

 The content will include background information of intelligence operations in WWII. An overview of Allied strategic planning and its execution in Europe, North Africa, Italy and the Atlantic, the study of Axis codes and code ciphering machines (Enigma), biographical information of key players and their inventions/theories,  finally, assessments of the codebreakers' impact upon the war and their impact upon the development of Computer Science.
   

    Methods:

Lectures and a video will give students background information.  Group work will follow with students using library research, handouts, and web-based research.  The groups will be compromised of four students.  Each group member will take an area to study/research; a) Allied codebreaking operations, b) Axis codes and their use, c) Biographical information of key players, and d) the inventions/theories that effected the development of computers and Computer Science.

     NCSS Theme:

Science, technology, and society.

WebQuest  Summary:
    Goals/Objectives:

The goal of the webquest is to provide web-based information about Bletchley Park and to guide the students as to best synthesize and present the information gathered.


    Days:

2 Days


    Content:

Web-based resources about Bletchley Park, key players, WWII, and Computer Science.


    Methods:

 A webquest and group work.  Individual members of the group will study their area and meet to synthesize information and create a power point presentation plus a paper that outlines their and defends their findings.      

Teachers Resources

Unit Information:
    

Background Resources

Web-based Subject Matter Content
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/         
http://www.bletchleypark.net/stationx/
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/decoding/
http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/
http://www.turing.org.uk/turing/index.html

Web Pedagogy Content
 http://webquest.sdsu.edu/
 
 
 
 

 Other Resources
 http://www.questia.com
 http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/
 
 
 


Unit Lesson Sequence
 


Day 1    Back to Top
Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts
 

Materials
(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)
Lecture Background information on codes and code breaking during WWII. Use the power point presentation to trace modern military communications prior to WWII and illustrate some key points concerning Bletchley Park.

 

Power Point
Video Present a video about Bletchley Park. This will outline the history of the operations and key players involved.  The video runs 2 hrs. Decoding Nazi Secrets, Nova WGBH, Boston Video, Nov. 9, 1999.  Transcript
  The unit plan should be started on a Monday.  I would recommend using this unit plan after the course has covered the bulk of the war in Europe in order to aid the students in formulating their theories concerning how long Bletchley Park may have shortened the war.

 

 
     
     
     
     

 


Day 2    Back to Top
Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts
 

Materials
(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)
Group Formation Students will form into groups of four and select areas of research. Each student will choose to either study a) Allied code breaking operations plus its effects upon strategy, b) Axis codes, their use, and encryption machines, c) biographical information about the key players involved, and d) the inventions/theories formed at Bletchley Park that effected the development of Computer Science. No materials needed.
Video Continue the video from where it left off the previous day. Decoding Nazi Secrets
     
     
     
     
     

Day 3    Back to Top
Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts
 

Materials
(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)
Library Research The groups will go to the library to conduct research on the subject. Three books will be placed on reserve in addition to what the students can find. Allow each group to draw the reserve books only one at a time and make sure all the groups have access to each book during the course of the unit plan. Try to obtain these books if they are not in your library's collection or find similar books. Hinsley, F.H. and Stripp, Alan, Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park. (Oxford Univ. Press , 2001)

Hodges, Andrew, Alan Turing: The Enigma. (Walker and Co., NY, 2000)

Smith, Michael, Station X: Decoding Nazi Secrets. (TV Books, NY, 1999)

Group Work The groups will meet to synthesize the information they have found, the students will do this the each day for the rest of the unit.  
     
     
     
     
     

Day 4    Back to Top
Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts
 

Materials
(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)
Webquest The students will use computers to access the Webquest.  If possible, reserve a computer lab to use as many computers as possible. Suggest to the students to continue the work at home if they have web access from home. Webquest
Information and exercise. Two handouts that show methods used in codebreaking. One contains information and the other is an exercise for the students. FISH and I and Code exercise  Need Adobe viewer.
    Code exercise answers
     
     
     
     

Day 5    Back to Top
Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts
 

Materials
(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)
Webquest Students will continue with the Webquest. Webquest
Instruction Students will be instructed to begin an outline for their papers and Power Point presentations. The outline for the paper is to be handed in on the following Monday,  
     
     
     
     
     

Day 6    Back to Top
Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts
 

Materials
(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)
Critique Each group's outline will be presented to the teacher for review. The teacher will recommend and advise as needed.  
Group work The groups will create a Power Point presentation and write the final companion paper (can be completed in class or at home). Computers with web access.
     
     
     
     
     

Day 7    Back to Top
 

Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts
 

Materials
(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)
Presentations Each group will hand in their final paper and present their Power Point overviews. Computer and projector.
Student critiques All students will have a critique sheet to grade the presentations. Student critique
     
     
     
     
     

 

Conclusion:

The students will have learned the history of Bletchley Park and its effect upon the development of Computer Science.  The students will be able to identify key players, theories, machines, and the effect the Code breaking operations had upon strategy and how much it affected the outcome of WWII.

Credits/References:

 

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