Indigenous Peoples: Then and Now

Lesson 10


Explain why the Navajo Code Talkers were vital to the war. 

Readings and Materials

  • Book: Chester Nez and the Unbreakable Code, A Navajo Code Talker's Story by Joseph Bruchac  p. 12 — end

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Target Task


Writing Prompt

Why were Chester Nez and the Navajo Code Talkers vital to the war?

Mastery Response


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Key Questions


  • Describe how the Navajo men created a new code.

  • How was the code used?

  • How did Chester feel when he returned from war? Why?

  • Why does the author include the author’s note? What additional information does the reader learn? 



decrypt     (v.)

to make a coded or unclear message understandable

encrypt     (v.)

to change information from one form to another to hide its meaning

restore     (v.)

to bring someone or something back to an earlier and better condition

vital     (adj.)

critical or important

merge     (v.)

to join together

Enhanced lesson plan

Enhanced Lesson Plan

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Common Core Standards

  • RI.3.3 — Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

  • RI.3.7 — Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

Spiral Standards