This breakout box is designed to familiarize students with Edgar Allan Poe's life, the theories surrounding his death, and two of his poems.
Mission: Your teacher gave an assignment two weeks ago to write a report on Edgar Allan Poe. You already forgot to do a couple of other assignments this year, which has put your passing grade in jeopardy. The Poe report has totally slipped your mind, and you now realize the report is due tomorrow. Ut-oh! You must hurry and find enough information about Poe to write a two-page report, or you may have to attend summer school. Yikes! If you break into the box, however, your teacher is offering a homework pass, and you won't have to do the report at all. Either way, you must learn about Poe to open the box or write the report, so let's get going!
This activity challenges students to read about Poe, think critically, and work collaboratively to solve the clues and break into the box. Students will walk away with a better understanding of Poe's hardships and the mystery about his death. In addition, they will compare "Annabel Lee" and "Lenore."
(In actuality, you could have students solve the breakout clues without having any breakout boxes. Each clue has a picture of the lock they are trying to open along with the clues. Then, a sheet is included for students to write the code to each lock. Of course, the physical locks are more fun, but I definitely understand school funds are limited. This also works if you have only one lock box for the class to share or several lock box sets for groups.)
Materials needed (pictures of materials are included):
3 digit lock
4 digit lock
5 letter alphabet lock
Box with a lockable clasp
coat (this will make sense in the instructions)
This lesson has step-by-step instructions, hint cards, and well-designed clues to engage your students and get them to think critically. (You actually don't have to make students write the report; it is just a fun way to get them really invested in opening the box!)
This lesson could last anywhere from 40 minutes to 60 minutes depending on how you execute the plans.
Student Responses After Trying This Breakout:
"That was fun. I liked it."
"You made me think too much today."
"This is exciting! I feel like we are spies or something."