How Can I Teach With Escape Rooms?
Simple steps to show you how to use escape rooms to teach in the classroom. I also give you some escape room in the classroom ideas.
I've always wanted to try using escape rooms in the classroom. They seem like such fun, I think learning while having fun is the best way!
The reason I have been reluctant to try escape rooms is, they seem so complicated. The set up, the execution and the marking all seemed like crazy amounts of work and energy. Once I started I realised it wasn't that hard at all, so here is my guide on how to use escape rooms in the classroom.
1) Decide how you will run your escape room game
The thought of locks and keys and boxes all seemed a little overwhelming, this was really putting me off. Then I realised I didn't really need all that. I could start small just use puzzles to solve and codes to crack. If I wanted to include physical locks and keys these could come later when I was more comfortable with the lesson.
So decide how you want your game to run? If you don't want to use actual locks have the final 'lock' be a code the children need to find or work out.
If all of the setting up and decisions aren't you thing you may even consider virtual escape rooms instead, which don't require any physical parts.
2) Know the information or skills you want the kids to learn or practice
Now we have decided how to set up or game, we need to actually think about the information of the lesson. To do this you can use a worksheet you already have, or you can create new questions to use. Decide on the questions you will be expecting the children to answer. If you want them to answer with facts or information your questions can be as simple as "Where is the largest rainforest?" if you want them to use skills you can use questions such as "Multiply the number of stars you find in the room by the number of planets."
Both of these types of questions are fine to use, you can mix and match between question types.
3) Set up you escape unlocking system
Now comes your actual preparation of the game. Have your class "collect" something from each of the questions or puzzles they answer. If you are using a code word to solve your final lock, then perhaps each puzzle could give the children a letter and they need to unscramble the word. If you prefer, you may wish to have your game more linear and each puzzle gives a clue to help solve the next. if you are using a physical lock you may wish to slowly reveal the combination or the location of the physical key. Which ever system you use, make sure it all fits together.
4) Set up your classroom
Now that you have all your questions ready and your unlocking system set up it is time to actually set up your room. You can place the clues randomly around the room, hide them for students to find (perhaps with clues to the location as a reward for finishing a puzzle) or you can hand out the clues personally after each is solved to keep the game more regulated.
5) Play the escape room game
Now after all your hard work it is time to play the game. It is a good idea to play it through yourself first, make sure all the moving parts work and iron out any problems.
My first attempt at using escape rooms with my class
If all of this sounds like a lot of work, unfortunately it is. That's where I can help. Please hop over and check out my range of classroom escape rooms, they are on a variety of subjects and I am always making more. Each game comes with clues, puzzles and final codes to crack.
This term I decided to be brave and create an escape room to teach children about the deforestation of the rainforest. This escape room used seven tasks, placed around the room. They don't need to be be discovered or solved in order, starting with a video that explains things about the rainforest, then they need to answer questions from the video.
Completing each task awards the team with a puzzle piece along with various clues that they need to solve the last puzzle. Solving the final puzzle can only be accomplished once all tasks have been completed. This last puzzle is their 'escape key'
It worked really well and the children loved it! The facts and ideas about deforestation were firmly embedded in the learning of the lesson.
If you are interested in creating escape rooms I can absolutely say they are worth the effort! Puzzles to create and use can be as simple as cutting a picture into puzzle pieces, creating ciphers to solve a phrase or giving the children some text and getting them to answer questions about the text.
It really is fun!
If creating all these puzzles and codes is not something you want to undertake, please check out my escape room lessons in my store.
Also if there is a topic you would like turned into an escape room please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. I would love to make some more!
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