Before the lesson, the teacher would have a discussion about the different ways that people convey information. Not just verbally but with guestures, non-verbal cues, sign language, in writing etc. The teacher could also have students discuss how emojis are used to convey information and how they are a modern form of communication that did not once exist.
For a classroom activity that incorporates encoding and decoding data, the students could explore how braille is used to communicate information. After first introducing the way that braille is used by the visually impaired to read, students would then attempt to write their own names in braille using buttons and glue. The students would then be sat at tables and blindfolded and be given someone else’s name created in braille. The student must then decode the name and raise their hand when they know the answer.
Another activity could be that the teacher creates a treasure hunt using braille. Students are given simple instructions in braille, for example, “behind the bookshelf” and must find the hidden item. Students could work together decoding the information to find the hidden item. An extension activity could be that the students create their own treasure hunt instructions that their fellow students must follow.
To conclude the lesson, the teacher would have the students discuss how we decode information and how we work to translate information we are given. The teacher could also discuss how when learning a new language, how decoding is slower than if it is a language we already understand.