This week in my 3rd grade classroom we tried our first ever BreakoutEdu game. This game is similar to the Escape the Room places for adults. In Breakout Edu, there are boxes with locks that have to be opened. The locks are varied: directional lock, color lock (on an iPad), 4 digit lock, 3 digit lock and a word lock.
The children work in teams and look for clues around the room to solve the puzzles and find the required information. Once they think have all of the puzzles solved correctly, they get 2 minutes to try to open all of the locks. This games provides practice with teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking and troubleshooting.
This first game that I tried was a Back to School themed game based on the book, If You Take A Mouse to School. The premise was that the mouse came into our room and stole some of our school supplies. Since I have 26 students, I set up 2 boxes and put the children into 8 teams. So 4 teams worked on each box. I purchased one box from the company (for about $100) and I created the other box myself using an ammo box and buying the rest of the locks at Home Depot and Amazon.
Clues for each lock where hidden around the room. One puzzle required the students to use a UV flashlight to find hidden letters.
Another was a clue to the directional lock.
Do you see a clue to the 4 digit lock in this play about the book? (You’ll have to look closely)
Once clue was locked inside of a smaller box and it was a QR code to an online jigsaw puzzle that the students had to solve.
Another puzzle was a secret code where the students had to find the key to figure it out.
I did not want the students to get frustrated, so they were allowed to ask me for a hint if they were having a lot of difficulty. Not too many had to get hints though.
They were very excited when they broke out!
I found this to be an awesome first day of school activity that the students really enjoyed! Some of the things they liked best were being able to work with their friends, the fact that the puzzles were challenging, feeling great when they figured it all out, and being able to move around and talk while they worked. Breakout Edu has many topic themed games for all age groups and the best part is that they are all FREE! There is also a wonderful Breakout Edu Facebook group where teachers are sharing new games and ideas. It is a great place to ask questions and get support. I am happy that I found this wonderful resource and I look forward to trying another game with my students next month.