Task 3, Option 2

Option 2: Describe a classroom activity that involves students encoding and decoding data. You might involve another system that is used to convey information (e.g. Braille, flag systems, sign language, other cultures) or  incorporate a resource (e.g. story, song). If you are a teacher trainer, you might describe a professional session for teachers. If you are teaching remotely, let us know how you could teach this online or how you might take an existing activity you have found and adapting for students learning from home.

This is an activity which students can do in the classroom or at home.

Key Question:

How many ways can you communicate with someone without talking, visual cues or writing using the alphabet.

Lesson starter:

Discuss what sort of signs and symbols you could use to represent letters and numbers of the alphabet.

Explain and go over some previous examples such as Morse code and braille.

Lesson activity:

Now that students know about encoding and decoding create your own alphabet with the relative codes for each letter. Give each student a message which they need to decode. Once students have decoded your message then they need to create their own code and get a classmate to then decode it.


Have the students come up for codes for more characters such as punctuation marks, capital letters and numbers. Once students have done this, they can either come up with a more complex sentence themselves or one that you as the teacher has provided that include these other symbols.


  • Ask the students what they found challenging
  • How they over came these challenges
  • Ask them how the alphabet we use today is simple compared to other encoding and decoding methods




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