Welcome to the Teachers' Lounge for the Spies in the Shadows website. Here you will find four complete teacher-directed lesson plans to help students gain a better understanding of how espionage and intelligence helped to shape Canada. Each lesson incorporates activities and blackline masters that specifically address and complement the existing provincial curriculum for Social Studies and History. Activities include researching, discussing, debating, analyzing, outlining materials in graphic organizers, exploring original documents, and planning and playing intelligence and espionage games to name a few.


The Elements of Intelligence History is a downloadable PDF document that includes a comprehensive list of resources for educators and students to further explore the history of intelligence and espionage in Canada and in the world. The document summarizes key events from the 18th Century until today and outlines selected resources that may be used as starting points for students and educators in their investigation of the history of intelligence and espionage.


Lesson 1
Spy Identities and Methods: the War of 1812

This lesson examines how intelligence and espionage were used in the War of 1812, focusing on people involved in the war and key battles where intelligence was used.

 Lesson 1 Spy Identities and Methods
 BLM 1 War of 1812 Spy Profile
 BLM 2 War of 1812 Timeline Questions
 BLM 3 War of 1812 Timeline
Lesson 2
Spy Tools of the Trade: Cryptography, Codes, and Ciphers

This lesson looks at cryptography, codes, and ciphers, and how they have been used throughout history in espionage.

 Spy Tools
 BLM 1 Breaking the Codes
 BLM 2 The Great Canadian Crypto Lab Answer Key
 BLM 3 Cipher Wheel
 BLM 4 Cryptography Research Questions
Lesson 3
Women and Intelligence

This lesson examines the role of women in intelligence and espionage in Canada and in the world.

 Women and Intelligence
 BLM 1 Women of Influence in Early Canada
Lesson 4
The Role of Intelligence and Espionage in Canada During the Cold War

This lesson investigates the development of the Cold War after World War II and the role of intelligence and espionage in this conflict, especially in Canada.

 The Role Intelligence and Espionage
 BLM 1 Research Questions
 BLM 2 Cold War Causes Effects
 BLM 3 Alliances

additional resources:

The Secret Files- For Your Eyes Only!
Throughout history, Canadian espionage has had a cast of colourful characters, many of whom you will find index cards for in this secret cabinet.

The Espionage Glossary
Clarify your understanding of the extensive vocabulary of the murky world of espionage, using this glossary to search for meanings of words you don't understand!

The Great Canadian Spyglass of Espionage Abbreviations
The spyglass will help you to see acronyms more clearly! Ever wonder what CSIS, or CIA stand for? The Great Canadian Spyglass will explain most acronyms associated with espionage.

The Spies in the Shadows team would like to thank our focus group of elementary and secondary teachers from across Canada:

Craig Harding, curriculum leader,
Vincent Massey Junior High,

John Lambersky, Social Studies Teacher,
Royal St. George's College,
Conference of Independent Schools (CIS).

Clint Lovell, History Teacher,
Eastview Secondary School, Barrie, Simcoe County District School Board

Tom Smith, Principal: King George School
Grand Erie District School Board

Isabelle Giroux, Conseillère pédagogique Anglais Langue Seconde (primaire/secondaire)
Présidente de RCCPALS
Commission scolaire de la Rivière-du-Nord

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