Cryptography (3rd – 8th)

Students get a crash course in cryptography, the science of encoding and decoding secret messages. In this lesson, we introduce students to different types of ciphers, including transposition and substitution ciphers. Students work through a variety of code-breaking activities that make use of tools, keys, or just their own brains!

SKU: Tech-Crypto Category: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Lesson Overview

Students will:

  • Be challenged to break a simple cipher and share what they know about cryptography & code-breaking.
  • Work through several cipher challenges using different tools and keys.
  • Share what the pros & cons are for using each cipher 
  • Create their own code using any of the ciphers we’ve used in class or students can work on the Caesar Cipher Challenge using deciphering with frequency analysis.

Lesson Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Encode and decode messages using a variety of ciphers.
  • List the pros and cons of using each cipher.

This lesson is aligned with these Next Generation Science (NGS) Standards.

Standards Covered

Science & Engineering Practice (SEP) 

Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 

  • (3rd-5th) Organize simple data sets to reveal patterns that suggest relationships.
  • (6th-8th) No specific concept applies.

Crosscutting Concept (CCC)


  • (3rd-5th) Patterns can be used as evidence to support an explanation.
  • (6th-8th) Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships.
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Our Young Pre classroom is for ages. This age group is working