Make Scytale by Ahsan_Maulana

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```									Make a scytale                                       Background
Investigation - Decoding and analysing information   Spies need to keep their messages secret. This activity demonstrates a simple
Purpose
low-tech way of encrypting data.
To build a scytale and demonstrate the              Steps
concepts of coding and code keys in a
physical way.                                       You will need:
• pencils, A4 paper, rulers
Age range (years)                 Subjects             • tape and scissors for sharing
7   8   9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16    Art and              • some kind of rod (thick pens such as markers are ideal).
Design, History   1. This coding method may have been used by ancient Greeks in military
campaigns. It is often called the ‘Spartan cipher’. Can students imagine
what sort of messages were passed on in this way?
2. Ask students to cut their sheets of A4 paper into strips about a centimetre
wide. It is important the paper strips are straight. (The marked up cutting
sheet on page three may be useful).
3. Give students the activity sheet on page two and ask them to follow the
instructions for making a scytale.
Discussion
• What would happen if you were caught carrying your message and the
rod?
• How could you make it more difficult for others to find out the message?
• How could you let another agent know the size of the rod they need to
use to decode messages (essentially the ‘key’ to the code)?

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Make a scytale – Activity Sheet

1. Attach a paper
strip to the rod with
a small piece of
tape.

2. Wrap the paper
strip tightly around        4. Write your
rod making sure             message on the
edges meet but              paper along the
don’t overlap.              length of the rod.

3. Fix the strip
in place.

5.   Carefully unravel the paper strip. See how the words have been broken up.
6.   Swap your unravelled strip with a classmate. Can you read the message on the
strip you have been passed?
7.   Re-wind the strip around a rod to clearly reveal the words. What happens if you
use different sizes of rod?

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