InventorThink for kids, Uncategorized

Fun with Language: Invent Your own Secret Code

Welcome Inventors! I’ve always been interested in language. When I was in elementary school, my friends and I formed a club and made a secret language just for us. No teachers were going to understand any notes we passed!


Step 1: Knowledge – what is a code? A code is a system of rules used to turn information (such as letters, sounds, images, etc.) into another form of representation for communication.

Step 2: Simple Application – a wonderful example of code is International Morse code. Almost anyone could recognize this picture and be able to understand the message.


S=••• O=­ – – –  SOS is essentially “help!” in International Morse code. This is a useful tool in a world full of different languages! If you are interested, click here for some great information on the history of Morse code.

Step 3: Level up – To make our own code today, we need a system of rules and information. I’m going to use letters because I like to make words. Here is the “key” to my code before I begin:


Step 4: Build It – to create your code, make a few designs on a piece of paper. If you want to copy mine you can, but try your own thing! I did find that simple shapes with small details worked well for me.


Step 5: Launch – To turn your design into code, place X’s over your designs. You could also divide them into quadrants with + signs or squiggle off your favorite parts. This gives you the pieces of your code. Once you have what you like, add them to your key next to the letters, and BAM – you’ve invented your own secret code! (I made up Y and Z instead of drawing another shape – you do what you like!)


There you have it! Your own secret code to share with family and friends. Now that you know my code, I’ve got another challenge for you. Then go! Enjoy your day and…

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