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The secretive secret agent agency

Show your problem solving skills through a series of tasks and puzzles – have you got what it takes to be a spy?
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Pens or pencils
  • Calculator or phone
  • Folder (optional)
Excursions in espionage booklet
PDF – 1.3MB
Answers booklet
PDF – 705.9KB
The final mission
PDF – 86.3KB

Play ‘I spy a spy’

  1. The person leading the game should choose one person to be the mole. A mole is a spy who joins an organisation in order to get information to pass to their own organisation.
  2. The mole should leave the room, or close their eyes and cover their ears.
  3. Everyone else should stand in a circle. They’re now agents.
  4. The person leading the game should choose one person in the circle to be the officer. The officer’s job is to lead the rest of the agents.
  5. All of the agents should remember who the officer is. They’ll need to pay attention, and follow the officer’s lead.
  6. The officer should start doing an action, and the rest of the agents should copy them. Whenever the agent changes the action they’re doing, the rest of the agents should change their action too.
  1. The mole should come back in to the room, and stand in the middle of the circle. Their job is to find out who the officer is, so that they can report back to their organisation.
  2. To complete the mission, the officer should change the action as many times as possible, and the agents should copy – without the mole figuring out who the officer is.
  1. The mole has three opportunities to guess who the officer is. They can guess at any time by pointing and saying ‘I think you’re the officer’. The person they’re pointing to should tell them whether they’re right.
  2. Repeat the game as many times as you like, choosing a different mole and officer each time.

Go on an undercover mission

  1. Everyone should get into pairs.
  2. Each pair should decide which mission to attempt.
  1. Give each pair two copies of the mission for their chosen country, and pens. Put the calculators somewhere for people to collect as they need.
  2. Each pair of spies should work together to complete the tasks on their mission.

Play ‘infiltration operation’

  1. The person leading the game should choose one person to be the spy.
  2. Everyone else should sit in a big circle – with a gap between each person that’s big enough for someone to stand in.
  3. The person leading the game should place the classified folder in the middle of the circle. The file should contain the ‘final mission’ sheet.
  1. The spy should stand facing the wall. This is the spy base.
  2. The person leading the game should choose one person in the circle to be the guard. They should do this silently, so the spy doesn’t know who the guard is.
  3. The spy should choose where they’ll enter the circle. Wherever they enter will also be their exit point.
  4. The spy should try to take the folder, and return to the spy base with it, without being caught by the guard.
  5. The guard cannot move until the spy touches the folder.
  6. Once the spy has touched the folder, the guard must try to tag them before they reach the safe space. The guard can also only leave the circle using the space the spy used.
  7. Repeat the game as many times as you like, choosing a different spy and guard each time.
  8. The final time everyone plays, the spy should open the folder when they return to their base. Inside, they’ll find their final mission.

The final mission

  1. The spy who found the folder should choose a volunteer to read the final mission.
    They can do it themselves, or choose someone else.
  2. Everyone should think about which of the missions they could try to do over the following week, now that they’ve completed their spy training.

Reflection

To complete the excursions, you needed to problem solve. Could you do the puzzles quickly, or did you have to take your time? Did different puzzles need different skills? Did you use different skills when playing the games and when doing the excursions? What’s your best tip to help others problem solve well?

As a spy, you also needed to persevere more. Were any of your puzzles or missions frustrating? Were there any you had to try more than once? Why is it important to keep trying when things go wrong? Did you have to focus on the puzzles? Were they hard work? How do you stay motivated to keep going when things are hard?

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.