Using an Escape Room to develop curriculum knowledge is an exciting activity that will inspire learners from 2nd Grade to 5th Grade.
The curriculum content of this Escape Room is linked to:
- Characteristics of Living Things (Animals)
The aim of the Escape Room is to provide jeopardy for the children to work under pressure to solve 10 clues to help scientists who have forgotten how to classify animals using a wide range of characteristics based on the features of all living things (move, reproduce, sensitivity, grow, respire, excrete and nutrition).
- A copy of the Pupil Workbook for each group
- A set of table activities for every group – prepared beforehand and given to each group after they have all completed each Code Key activity
- IT sources and research materials
- Initial Starting Script sharing the problem to the children
- Completion Script celebrating the completion of the challenge
Children do not need prior knowledge of the topic above to complete this Escape Room, as the research will support the answers and each Code Key is supported with several clues. This Escape Room is ideal as a review of learning.
The activity begins by the teacher reader the Initial Message received. It clearly tells the children that they are required to help scientists to classify animals – as for some reason, all scientists have lost the ability and memory to sort animals and place them into their taxonomic groups! The only way they can do this is to solve the 10 challenges within this Escape Room. Failure is not an option!
What follows are 10 challenges which the children must solve to discover the code to move onto the next activity.
Each activity focuses and builds the children’s knowledge on many aspects of classification of animals.
The 10 activities are based on the following outcomes:
- Know the 7 main features of all living things
- Understand that animals can be grouped into taxonomic groups (arachnid, bird, amphibian, insect, mammal, crustacean, fish and reptiles). The activity can be extended to included other animal groups should the teacher wish to develop it further to add other animal groups)
- What makes an insect an insect?
- What makes an arachnid an arachnid?
- What makes a fish a fish?
- What makes an amphibian an amphibian?
- What makes a bird a bird?
- What makes a reptile a reptile?
- What makes a crustacean a crustacean?
- What makes a mammal a mammal?
When all 10 activities are completed, and the children have gained the correct Code Keys from each activity, the teacher can read the final communication detailing how the children have been able to help the scientists to continue their important work.
- Children should be split into groups of no more than four and be placed in their own work space.
- Access to IT and research materials should be provided to allow children to research answers to questions and review their own knowledge, as well as checking answers.
- Each group should have a Code Key Booklet and decide on a team name
- Read the Initial Message to the children to set the challenge in context. Discuss what this means, and what the activity entails.
- Hand each group a copy of Code Key 1. Agree with the children a set time to complete the problem in – this ensures that the children stay on task and maintains the Escape Room element of working under pressure.
- At the end of the time, children should have filled in the Code Key in their booklet. The teacher can then check the accuracy of all the groups and talk through the responses the children should have.
- Move on through the remaining challenges until all 9 have been completed.
- 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 and saved the Earth!
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.
The Escape Room should last for 2 hours.
We hope that your children enjoy this Escape Room.
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