Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Spy School: General Outline Schedule

What's a great way to get your reluctant writer to have fun writing? In secret code of course! Invisible ink is another good way. I learned that this summer when we did a few projects for fun. Early Bird kept asking when we were going to do more Spy School, so I scrapped all of our usual work and have planned out a 3 month unit study based around a Spy/Secret Agent/Detective theme.

The great thing about homeschooling is it's flexibility and customization. Because your interests, needs, and time available might be different than ours, I am going to first provide a general outline that you can pick and chose from and adapt as needed. Also, ours is geared towards a 4th-6th grade level. This can be adapted to lower or higher grade levels. My Pinterest board has everything from K level to high school so again, customize as appropriate. Each 2 to 3 week sub unit has a specific theme/focus.

Daily Schedule (Monday-Thursday):

(Math done separately before spy school)

Move Like a Spy: 

activities like learning to walk silently and sneaking up on people, strength and endurance exercises, and beginner parkour.

History of Spying:

outlining the book Spies and Spying. It's an important spy skill to be able to read information and condense or summarize it in your own words. Less words also means less work encoding the information.

Talk Like a Spy:

vocabulary work from the glossary of Spy Science. 10 words a week

2-3 Themed Activities


Write a Report to Headquarters:

In our case a paragraph about what they did and learned that day.


An escape room inspired mystery or "crime" that reviews things learned that week and the weeks before.


Communication (2 to 3 weeks) Focus on codes and invisible or hidden messages as well as Communication Exercises (will be explained in another post.)

Disguise and Observation (2 weeks) Learn to be a good witness by quickly remembering identifying features. Then learn how to disguise those features in yourself. Also includes sneaking and taking notes. On Fridays instead of a mystery to solve, go to the library or other public space and kids practice sneaking/following and making observations and taking notes on people there.

Inference (2-3 weeks) Practice looking beyond the face value of something and learn to gather information from things. Also work with deductive logic.

Clues (2-3 weeks) Finger prints, shoe impressions, teeth marks, fibers, ink chromatography and more! Even better if you have a microscope.

Forensics (2 weeks) First week blood and DNA projects, second week identifying similar looking substances using chemical analysis.

I will post about each theme separately, as well as a post of reviews on the different resources I purchased for this unit.

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