Your best friend has done something that you never thought was possible – built a time machine. You set it to the year 1800 and climb in. Within seconds you are standing in the middle of an old west town. You notice people looking at you funny and then see them pointing to a piece of paper attached to the wall of the General Store. You walk over to see what it is. Oh no. It’s a WANTED poster. And it has YOUR face on it! You need to get out of this town – and fast!
Are you ready for the challenge?
**If using this with 2nd graders, it will be best-suited to the middle to end of the year. Be sure to create mixed ability groups.**
Ready to take addition and subtraction to a whole new level? Your students are going to LOVE this “Back in Time” escape room-style activity where they will crack codes and work together as a team, ultimately overcoming the obstacles and making it home.
Your students will be completing six different challenges (or obstacles) in order to make it home. These challenges will be completed as a small group of about four people in order to encourage teamwork and cooperation.
When a team has solved a challenge, one member will come to you with the answer and to get the next envelope.
The goal is for each group to complete the escape room, but it is motivating to have teams compete against each other to see who can solve it first.
Obstacle #1: Escape from jail.
Before you even have time to run, the Sheriff has you handcuffed and is marching you off to the town jail. “But wait,” you cry, “this is a mistake! I’m not the one you’re looking for!” But it’s no use. The Sheriff throws you in a jail cell, locks it up, and leaves. You see a paper on his desk that has some kind of code on it. Could this be the code to unlock your jail cell?
: Use the code to figure out the secret message. Then complete the task.
Obstacle #2: Decode the map.
Phew! You’re out of jail! You reach inside your pocket and feel something. It’s paper, but it’s ripped into a bunch of small pieces. You decide to put it together. This could be the key to getting out of this town before you get caught by the Sheriff again!
: Put together the puzzle. Use the key to decode the message.
Obstacle #3: Get to the train station.
The train station at sundown! This must be where you need to go to get back home. You see a wagon that is heading out of town. You jump on without the driver noticing. Maybe he’s going past the train station!
: Complete the maze to find the secret message. Write the answer to the secret message.
Obstacle #4: Unlock the train station door.
You see the train station and jump off the wagon. Now it’s time to look for the time machine so that you can get home. It must be here. You walk up to the door, but it’s locked! Beside the door there is a small sign with a code on it. This must mean something. You decide to figure out what it says.
: Decipher the message. Then complete the task to unlock the train station door.
Obstacle #5: Find the time machine.
You open the door to the train station and are greeted by a stranger. ”Hello,” he says, “I’m supposed to give you this.” You’re confused. You don’t even know this man. You look at what he has handed you. He says, “Order these from least to greatest and you’ll find what you’re looking for.” He must be talking about the time machine!
: Solve each equation. Order them from smallest to largest sum. Then flip them over to reveal the location of the time machine.
Obstacle #6: Operate the time machine.
You begin looking all over the train station for a closet. Finally, you see a door over in the corner. Could that be the closet? You race over, tear open the door, and there it stands – the time machine! You set the year and the machine begins to talk to you! It says, “Input the true/false code.” You’ll have to use this code to get the machine to work.
: Decide whether each statement is true or false. Write “T” or “F” to form the code.