Makey Makey your own TLAP Code

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   Hello fellow TLAP crew, I have a wonderful project your students can create and have them lead at the same time. This project came to be in a very interesting way. I was drawing some pictures with my son and he started telling me his shapes were his letters. He started spelling out words with his shapes and I was thinking about how you sometimes do the Egyptian Hieroglyphs in school and that’s when the project came to life. What if you had students create their own type of code but allow them to decide how to make it and how to decode it. Here is how you can made your own Student Lead TLAP Code.


1. Begin the project by talking about how some cultures had their own language and they left clues like the Rosetta Stone in creating a way to translate their language for other cultures.

2. Next have students decide how they want to make their code. They have the choice of making shapes with play-doh, drawing out their own symbols and letters or even creating QR Code for all of their works with QR Voice using a chrome book or iPad.

3. Next let the students create their messages in their language. These messages can be everything from “hello” to “Stay positive!”.

4. Now, comes the real fun part, translating. Have students choose their tools. If they have a Makey Makey set up a keyboard code interface with graphite chart translation so they can hook up their Makey Makey controller to a flip book that has each letter of the code on it. When they type the letter through the paper and the Makey Makey, the message starts typing out on the computer screen.

5. If you don’t have a Makey Makey use an iPad or Chromebook to set up a Google Sheet through the device using Google Classroom. When they figure out the translation they type in the message onto a Google Sheet that the teacher or class can see and mark if they correctly deciphered the code. If they didn’t, the teacher or student who created the code can type in the feedback section how they misread the code and how to correct it.

6. If everything comes out right, the project is graded and students can give feedback on what they thought about the assignment. If students chose to use QR Codes the students will have to record a voice message and then upload the mp3 file to the Google Sheet as well.

 This should take four days to create, explore, use and grade. One day to explain the project and decide what device or way they want to do it. Day two is for creating and translating the code. Day three is to set it up and have students translate the code and day four for final turn in and grading. Great way to Teach like a Pirate and create code. Give it a try. 


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