I found that I wasn't explaining the concept of a "protocol" well. Many students had blank faces trying to create a protocol. Some of their first attempts at a protocol said, "draw a star".
So I started class with this: (attached image). I gave each student a copy. told them NO TALKING, and that in a moment I would send them a 3 bit chunked protocol.
Then, I sent the protocol (011, 100, 010, 100, 010, 100, 101). I gave them 30 seconds to interpret then made them stand up. I said "go" and they started clapping, waving, spinning, etc. I'd say half of them were in sync with the correct protocol.
I'd love any feedback - my goal was to show a protocol that allowed for a message to be send without giving any clues on how to solve the star or shape drawing activity.