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Cheap Shot for the Day

May 14, 2009, 2:16 pm

ciaseal.pngThe CIA has a kid’s page. So does the CIA, for that matter, but I find the former much more disturbing. The kids’ page of the Central Intelligence Agency includes a “Bird’s Eye View of CIA History,” narrated by “Aerial, the ace photography pigeon.” There are links to the CIA “Hall of Fame,” which–disappointingly–includes only non-classified information (I know about Harry Truman and George H.W. Bush! Tell me cool secret things).

Interested in a job at the CIA? For all those 6th-12 graders who might be eager to join, the agency says “Seriously, Just Say ‘No’“:

For those of you who can pledge to stay away from illegally and improperly using drugs and alcohol, there are student opportunities immediately available at the CIA for the best and brightest.

Finally, there are games. There are puzzles, word finds, and “break the code.” “Break the code” includes a challenge involving the “Enigma Code” which I’m pretty sure requires an invasion of Poland to solve. Additional games include the “Aerial Analysis Challenge,” and the “Photo Analysis Challenge,” which involve skills useful later for those interested in a career in Bomb Damage Assessment.

There are also resources for parents and teachers, including lesson plans. “Adaptable for students of any age,” these include “Examples of Problem Solving, Myths about the CIA vs. Reality, Intelligence’s Role in War, Code and Code Breaking, the Importance of Accurate Communications,” and my personal favorite “Gathering and Analyzing Information,” which includes the following:

To begin the lesson, the teacher will hand out the “Intelligence Cycle” print out and discuss its five steps: Planning & Direction, Collection, Processing, Analysis & Production, and Dissemination.

After the students understand the “Intelligence Cycle,” the teacher should write the following on the blackboard: “Back in my day….” Begin a discussion by asking students how many of them have heard their parents or grandparents use that phrase in conversation and what they learned about their family’s past from those reminiscences.

Next, the teacher should ask students to pick a parent or grandparent they can interview before the next class and write three paragraphs comparing the student’s current day-to-day life to their subject’s life at the same age. Discuss what kind of questions to ask to see the differences in the student’s life compared to their subject’s life at the same point.

Whether the child is allowed to use enhanced interview techniques on the chosen grandparent is not specified.

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