The Enigma Machine

Grades 7-9, 60min

In the Enigma Machine lesson, students will learn the intricacies of cryptography used in World War II to convey secret messages to soldiers in the field. Students will start by looking at a simple shift cipher and will create their own cipher wheel to send and receive encoded messages. Students will then learn about the German Enigma Machine and will run a web-based emulated version to better understand how it works. Finally, students will discover how the Allies broke the Enigma’s code in WWII and the effect that had on winning the war.

Photo of the Enigma Machine

Topics addressed

Students will be able to


Suggested lesson breakdown

Washington State standards