School Visits and Lessons

Many interactive options will be available for students to interact with the exhibit and topics. To schedule a school visit to NSU's "Native Words, Native Warriors" exhibit contact Susan Woitte (918-444-3276).

Smithsonian Lesson Plans

The Smithsonian's website explores the lives and experiences of American Indian Code Talkers, the servicemen who used their traditional tribal languages to transmit secret messages for the United States military during World War I and World War II. The content focuses on the Code Talkers’ wartime experiences, as well as their pre- and post-war lives. Their highly honored military achievements are placed in a larger cultural and historical context to encourage deeper appreciation of and respect for the complex and difficult challenges they faced as American Indian people of the twentieth century.

Features of the website include:

  • Introduction: Code Talkers
  • Languages: Living the Culture
  • Boarding Schools: Struggling with Cultural Repression
  • Code Talking: Intelligence and Bravery
  • Coming Home: Strength through Culture
  • Survival: Hard Times and Racism
  • Recognition: Medals and Praise

Included in each chapter are the following:

  • Mini-stories. Several within each chapter.
  • Reflection and Discussion Questions. For class discussions, study groups, or as journal assignments.
  • Code activities. Several activities designed to allow students to decipher samples of Navajo code and to construct their own messages using the code dictionary.
  • Workbook. Included at the end of the Languages, Talking in Codes, Coming Home, and Recognition chapters. 
We recommend that students view the entire website once, and then go back to do the workbook activities. Completion of the activities will require several sessions on the website.

Developed by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service with generous support from Elizabeth Hunter Solomon, the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, and the AMB Foundation.