Along with Caesar Cipher and Pigpen Cipher, another interesting code system from history which could be used to engage students in learning about encoding and decoding messages is the Morse Code.
Developed in 1837 by Samuel Morse, the Morse Code is made up of ‘dots’ and ‘dashes’ to represent letters, numbers and punctuation. It was used to communicate during World War I & II. Morse’s electric cipher was first transmitted over telegraph as electrical pulses, but the code can also be written down, transmitted over radio or through flickering lights.
In the classroom, students may learn about Morse Code and experiment with encoding and decoding secret messages to one another. Students may use different methods such as writing down the dots and dashes of the code to encode a message, or even using a torch to flash the code to their partner who would need to transcribe the code before decoding the message. Such an activity would be best suited to middle to upper primary.
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