Creating pixilated images using encoding and decoding

Option 2- Describe a classroom activity that involves students encoding and decoding data. 

Year Level – Upper Primary

Task – Creating pixilated images using encoding and decoding

  1. Show students an example of a simple black and white pixilated image on the interactive whiteboard
  2. Provide students with a hard-copy 8 x 8 square table. Have students colour in certain squares black and leave some white to create a pattern or a simple image, similar to the example image.
  3. Explain that the students will now be placed in the role of binary code writers. Put students into small groups and ask them to swap their work so that they have someone else’s image. Students will need to develop a code for each line of the picture. Each line of code should have 8 numbers (consisting only of 0s and 1s).
  4. Ask students to swap their work for the final time so they will have someone else’s code. Explain that they are now acting as decoders, trying to put the picture back together be interpreting their peer’s line of code. Make sure students cannot see the original drawing.
  5. Finally have the students compare their work to the original image. Encourage students to discuss and try to ‘debug’ any problems/

In a later lesson, students could repeat this activity in a digital format by using a table in a Word document or Microsoft Excel.

This idea was adapted from the following resource –



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