- Students learn Morse code language and history
- Encode and decode their own messages
Teachers can provide students with an encrypted code that students must decode with reference to Morse code symbols. Use of videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORIDAmGf_yQ) can help students understand the history of Morse code and its uses. Using students’ knowledge and understanding of Morse codes, teachers can adapt lessons to incorporate Morse code in several subject areas.
Morse code is a simple way to help students understand that data is represented using codes (ACTDIK015). Based on the 5E model, the introduction of Morse codes can be used in the first 3Es – Engage, Explore, Explain. For the Elaborate and Evaluate phases, students can create their own codes and develop an encrypted message for their peers to decode. Students can be assessed on their ability to encode as well as decode messages according to the new code languages. This will be an exciting way to introduce codes to students!
Integration: This resource can be easily integrated with Science and Literacy.
- Year 5: Students use torchlights to explore how light from a source forms shadows and can be absorbed, reflected and refracted (ACSSU080). Students use light to transmit their messages using the Morse code system of dots and dashes.
- Year 6: Students create a simple Morse code transmitter using light bulbs, switches wires and batteries. Not only will students develop skills to design, produce and create a product (WATPPS29, WATPPS30), students will also develop a greater understanding that electrical energy can be transferred and transformed in electrical circuits… (ACSSU097).
- Literacy: Students read a book on Samuel Morse (Samuel Morse and the Telegraph). Literacy activities can be planned around this book.
- Provide choice for students to work individually or in pairs.
- Extension: Students can use the ‘Morse Trainer’ app to practise tapping Morse codes efficiently.
- Support: Students can use the ‘MorseLight’ app to transmit messages for them if they are struggling to use the equipment. This will allow students to still encode their own messages and participate confidently in the activities.
Criticisms/concerns: Teachers should be aware that students with specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia might struggle with the use of Morse codes. The dashes and dots might be confusing for these children. Consider using this website to convert text to Morse code audio and vice versa. Students can try to encode and decode the codes using the website.