St Thomas of Canterbury, 17 May 2019

At Bletchley Juniors Codebreaking Club this week I introduced the children to a Cardan Grille, making sure they knew that this use of the grille refers to a type of window not to a way of cooking sausages.

I explained that the grille can be used eight different ways i.e. it has two faces, and can be rotated four times.  The activity this week was collective nouns e.g. a pride of lions. I prepared squares containing 36 letters in a 6 x 6 square. I made grilles with 12 windows. I arranged the letters so that in only one of the eight possible options was there a word that made sense. The words were all the nouns i.e. animals, birds or fish. Once the children had decoded the set of nouns, I gave them pictures to match to the nouns.

cardan grille2
My grille looked a bit like this, except with 12 windows. 

The next task was to decode the collective words. I had encoded these using Shadow’s Code, which we used several weeks ago but had not been seen by some of the children who have joined our club since then. Once the collective words were decoded, the children had to match this to the noun.  This was the hardest part of the activity and required a bit of a steer from us. 

Some of our favourite collective nouns were: a smack of jellyfish; a crash of hippos; a shiver of sharks, and a fever of stingrays.

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