Activating the Theme – Secret Decoding Glasses

Be the hero. Be the villain. Let’s get ready for action!

Summer is fast approaching and so is the Summer Reading Club. Is this your first time delivering the SRC? Have you looked through your materials and are wondering how to bring the Summer Reading Club to life in your library space or Indigenous Knowledge Center? Then this activity is for you! (Seasoned SRC’ers may also apply 🙂 )

Secret Decoder Glasses and encrypted messages

(two things that heroes and villains are likely to enact use of in their travels)


This activity is really simple and requires only a few extra materials – some of which you will likely already have on hand.


Secret Decoder Glasses.pdf (red colour filter goggles)

Materials required: Die cut masks from kit (or download from SRC Dropbox), Scissors, Red Cellophane, cellotape/glue, string



activating-your-kit_creating-encoded-messages_page_1Creating Secret Messages (to be decoded wearing secret decoding glasses)

Materials required: white/light coloured paper, crayons, markers (see notes in activity sheet), copies of the colour chart (included in activity sheet), decoder glasses


Here are some examples of different ways to encode your messages. You can turn your message into a nonsense note (A), scratch it out and add lots of distraction (B), fill the page with an array of letters (C), hide your message in an illustration (thanks Brenton McKenna!) (D), or fill with shapes, letters and crazy directions (E).

The key is to first write your message in the darker markers (spread the letters about) and then go back and disguise your messages with the lighter coloured markers. When you put the goggles on, the lighter colours will be filtered out by the red film. Once you unleash this activity in your spaces, we are certain that your young patrons and their families will take their message encoding to a whole new level!

We also thought  you might have fun applying these encoding principles to some scavenger hunt panels you could post up in the library – once the kids have created their goggles, they could go on the hunt! You could change the message weekly – or task your regular visitors to help in the message creation as well. There are so many ways to apply this activity into your spaces. We look forward to seeing what transpires at your end!

Enjoy 🙂

Note: Depending on the markers you use, you may need to add 2 or 3 layers of film to build the correct level of goggle filtration.

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