"Teaching people about the world in which we live."
Break the class into groups of five or less students. Divide the desks into groups of six (or one more desk then students in each group. The extra desk is for the telegraph or buzzer (toy) and the flashlight. You may choose to use the floor instead of a desk, or to pass the buzzer and flashlight from student to student.) Give each group one buzzer (toy) and one flashlight. Give each student in the group a different message sheet.
If you only have four students in a group do not hand out message sheet 4. If you only have three students in a group don't hand out message sheet 3 or 4. For only two students in a group give each student two message sheets and leave out number 4.
Give each student one of the message sheets below. The first thing that the students should do is to translate the messages on their page into dots and dashes. Give them plenty of time to do this. This will mean 10 minutes for higher level classes and 10 - 15 minutes for lower level classes.
The student with message sheet number one goes first. They pick one of the messages at the top of the page to play for the other students. Then the student with message sheet number two goes next, etc.
The Morse code is decoded and the message written down to make a story. The first time through the sound should be used, but the second time through the flashlight should be used.
Here is an example assuming a group of five students, Phil, Mary, Joe, Sally, and Tom. They are given message sheets numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 respectively. This ordering means that number one goes first then number two and so on. They are creating a story.
Phil takes the seat with the sending device(s). He chooses to send message A. The other students write down the dots and dashes. When Phil is done the other students decode the dots and dashes into English. They then write the English on the blank lined spaces provided at the bottom of the worksheet. At the same time Phil will write down the message on the first space. He should already have the dots and dashes written down because he is sending them.
Next, Mary moves to the seat with the sending device(s) and she chooses to send D. After this has been decoded and written down on the worksheet (following the first message) it is Joe's turn. He picks message B.
Remember each student should send the message once with sound then again with light.
This continues till the whole group has gone.
Make sure that the students write down the message that they sent on the appropriate line as well as the interpreted messages.
If there is enough time you may have the students go around again, using different messages or even creating their own.
Then have them rewrite the story that has emerged from this exercise in the space provided at the bottom of the message sheet. If you collect each groups together it will make grading easier.
It is important to caution students to go slow with the telegraph or sound and light, when they are sending signals. Remind them that people who use Morse code regularly don't have to write down the dots and dashes before they decode them. Tell the students that because they do not have Morse code memorized they will have to transmit it slowly to allow all the students to recognize it.
To grade this project you may want to use the rubric provided or come up with one of your own.
Print out the messages below. Either print the Adobe file or the 5 messages in HTML.
Message Sheets 1 - 5
Message Sheet 1
Message Sheet 2
Message Sheet 3
Message Sheet 4
Message Sheet 5