Using an Escape Room to develop curriculum knowledge is an exciting activity that will inspire learners in any grade from 2nd Grade and beyond – easily to 7th grade. This Escape Room is like no other we have seen – and a first for us in terms of detail and immersion. Students take on a character within a fully scripted play-script, and within their team of four, meet various historical characters who help them on their way through various periods of history, solving 10 Challenges and collecting 12 numbers to return them safely to the present day.
The curriculum content of this Escape Room is linked to History and Literacy, in particular:
- Space Travel
- Reading Playscripts
The aim of the Escape Room is to provide jeopardy for the children to work under pressure to solve 10 Challenges clues to help raise their knowledge of periods in history. The 10 Challenges within this Escape Room will support knowledge and understanding of those periods, together with the play script which uses a range of characters to explore – humorously- the issues and information from the time period the students are in.
- Pupil Answer Book (Code Key Booklet)
- Answer Booklet for teachers
- Starting script to set the scene of the Escape Room and explain what the students must do
- Concluding script, celebrating the learning which has taken place and allows the students to “leave” the Escape Room
- Table labels for students to name their own teams
- Game Card to collect the 12 numbers through their journey within the 10 Challenges of the Escape Room
- Set of 12 numbers to print, laminate and cut out to provide the teams with upon successful completion of the Challenges.
- Full instructions to be able to simply print and go within your own classroom
- A copy of the Pupil Workbook for each group
- A set of table team names for every group – prepared beforehand and given to each group to set up their own working space
- IT sources and research materials
- Collection Card (1 card required for each team taking part)
- Number cards (1 set per team taking part)
- Initial Starting Script sharing the problem to the children
- Completion Script celebrating the completion of the challenge
Children do not need prior knowledge of these historical periods to complete this Escape Room so is suitable for a starter challenge to a new topic or simply a fun activity. The ability to have access to research resources will support the answers. This Escape Room can be used to introduce playscripts within a meaningful context and in small group focus sessions (teams of four)
The activity begins by the teacher reading the Initial Message received. It clearly tells the children that they are going to be immersed in a story which will use a play script to take them through time. They will need to choose a character to be throughout the whole of the activity and will read that character’s part throughout the whole story. The script will guide the students from challenge to challenge and through one history period to another. They will meet various other characters within the play script who will help them on their journey with facts, information and hints to be able to solve the 10 Challenges. Students will need to collect a series of numbers as they journey through, and only when they have collected them all will they have been successful. These are collected as rewards for completing the challenges and link directly to the characters they meet, whether that is King James I and Neil Armstrong.
After the 10th activity – the teacher can read the final script which reviews the learning the children have undertaken as they have completed each of the challenges. This script, together with team labels, game and the opening challenge script are contained within the Resource Pack.
Each activity focuses and builds the children’s knowledge of historical periods, as well as reading playscripts with accuracy – knowing when to read and whose turn it is.
- Sequencing 8 historical periods in time from the earliest to the most recent (Egyptians to the Space Race)
- Word Search to introduce 25 key words related to Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot – linking to the period of the Stuarts, shortly after Elizabeth I and Henry VIII.
- Crossword to complete which develops knowledge of the Elizabethan period
- Tudor Explorers and their achievements
- Henry VIII and his wives and children - sequencing
- Timeline of Henry VIII’s life and legacy
- The Victorians – sequencing Queen Victoria’s life
- Victorian Inventions
- Victorian True and False Fact File – Christmas Facts archipelago, basin, desert, fault, island, mountain)
- Space Exploration – Identifying who achieved the first ground-breaking event
- Space Race – Russia vs United States – who was first to achieve breakthroughs?
When all 10 activities are completed, and the children have gained the correct Code Keys from each activity, the final celebratory script can be read which reviews the learning and informs the children that they have been successful and can leave the Escape Room!
1. Students should be split into groups of no more than four and be placed in their own workspace.
2. Access to IT and research materials should be provided to allow students to research answers to questions and review their own knowledge, as well as checking answers.
3. Each group should have a Code Key Booklet and decide on a team name
4. Read the Initial Message to the students to set the challenge in context. Discuss what this means, and what the activity entails.
5. Students must complete Challenge 1 to show that they can work as a team and know their “history periods”. After this warm-up, they can then choose which character in the play script they are going to be. Each of the characters are slightly different in the way they behave with character 4 being the joker of the group.
6. Once characters have been chosen, agree with the children a set time to complete the problem in – which will also include reading the playscript and gaining clues from the characters they meet – this ensures that the children stay on task and maintains the Escape Room element of working under pressure.
7. At the end of the time, children should have filled in the answer to the challenge in their booklet. The teacher can then check the accuracy of all the groups and talk through the responses the students should have.
8. If the students have been accurate and can evidence the right answers – they receive the numbers to add to their Collection Card and can then move on to the next challenge.
9. Move on through the remaining challenges until all 10 have been completed.
10. For those groups who have been successful, they are then able to read the completed statement where they find out if they have escaped the Escape Room!
There are other ways of running Escape Room activities, for example, each activity could be set up on 10 tables and the children then move from table to table completing the activity. This would reduce the need for as many resources, and access to non-fiction sources and Internet Resources could then be targeted at specific Challenges.
This Escape Room can last for a number of hours with students immersed in their characters and the challenges for a long period of time – fully engaged and competitive between each of the teams. We suggest setting a day aside to fully complete this Escape room.
We hope that your students enjoy this Escape Room.