Education Services Australia (n.d.) provides lesson ideas and learning activities to support the teaching of binary. One such resource that can be used in teaching binary is design mat and cut out tiles. This learning activity/resource works well as an introductory lesson to binary.  It involves providing groups with black and white cut-out squares/tiles and a 5×5 design mat for them to lay the tiles (the design mat can be printed out on the website). Students can then create a design with the black and white tiles, laying them out onto the mat. Once they have done this, they will need to describe the pattern to someone one else who cannot see the pattern to lay these tiles out for themselves. They are expected to say things like ‘white tile first’ and so forth. Once they have done this, the teacher can extend thinking by asking students how they would do this activity and what students could say if they could not use the words ‘black’ or ‘white’. This could be done as a whole class brainstorm. Eventually the teacher can turn discussion towards 0s and 1s as representing the different tiles and then lead this to a discussion of on and off states.

This activity could also be adapted to use graph paper and have students colour in the patterns with black pencil or no colour as  this may be easier to prepare and collect resources for. This activity is directed towards year 5s or 6s with the unit code ACTDIK015. Further teaching from this point could involve students watching videos as a class and integrating numeracy by trying to decode numbers written in binary.

References

Education Services Australia. (n.d.). Using binary to create on/off pictures. https://www.digitaltechnologieshub.edu.au/teachers/lesson-ideas/using-binary-to-create-on-off-pictures