Lesson Idea 21.02: Write your name in binary code

Binary code is the simplest form of code and is based on a system where there are only two possible states, off and on, usually symbolised by 0 and 1. As well as numbers, letters can also be expressed in binary form. By knowing the binary number, you can write out names (and words) with a series of 1s and 0s.


1. Introduce binary code and explain how it can be used for letters, both upper and lower case (as well as some symbols) – each is represented by an 8-number code sequence.

2. Using a binary text conversion sheet, ask students to translate their names into binary code – writing down each letter’s 8-number code, with a small space between each.

3. For example, if your name starts with an ‘A’, the binary code would be 01000001. The name Amy would be: 01000001 01101101 01111001

What is my name?

Can you work out the name on the badge?

In the classroom

This is a fun way to introduce and start using code. Begin with names and progress to writing sentences with words, converting the letters into 1s and 0s. When that’s done, challenge students to decode each other’s messages from binary back to letters.


© INTERFACE February 2021