Coded Messages

Language Arts/Math Activity

Mysteries sometimes include coded messages. In this activity, students will create a code, write coded messages and decode each other's messages.



  1. Introduce the idea of coded messages to the students: Write the alphabet across the chalkboard. Below the letters write the numbers 1-26, with "1" below "A," "2" below "B," etc.

  2. Then write a simple, short sentence on the board and write the number equivalent of the first word. Invite volunteers to write the number equivalents of the remaining words.

  3. Divide the class into groups of three. Challenge each group to devise a code based on a growing number pattern (e.g., 1, 2, 4, 7, 11 . . .). On a sheet of paper, have students write the alphabet and the number that will stand for each letter, just as you did on the board.

  4. Now have each student write a secret message (a short sentence) and encode the message on another sheet of paper. Invite students to exchange and decode one another's messages.

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