MILWAUKIE — At St. John the Baptist School here, the eighth grade Baccalaureate Mass is set for Friday, June 10.

In eighth grade social studies at this year, students learned about the American Civil War. Tasked with discovering the spy who leaked Union battle plans to the enemy, this activity was based loosely on an Escape Room concept.

Hidden around the room and with other middle school teachers were clues the students needed to identify the spy was and discover how she managed to send coded messages to the enemy lines.

Students decoded a message within a letter and used Morse code to figure out the message inscribed on a fan. They also read primary sources to determine the location of a specific clue.

An objective of this activity was to examine how women had a significant impact on the war and were not idle observers. Whether they were Union or Confederate, women had active roles in changing the tides of war and, as Rose O’Neal Greenhow demonstrates, impacted how long the war raged on.

Reagan Reid is a language arts and social studies teacher at St. John the Baptist