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Escape rooms have been exploding in popularity. It’s hard to walk through a mall these days without finding one. It’s not surprising; they are fun and challenging in the best sort of way, especially when you are trying to solve puzzles together with friends or family.
In many ways the environment created by an escape room is exactly what you want to create when designing a lesson. It should be engaging and challenging, you want a task that students can work on together while encouraging full participation from all students. It’s been my experience that students participate when they are engaged and having fun. The difficulty lies in creating lessons that are fun without sacrificing curricular objectives and academic rigor. Escape rooms can be the perfect medium for creating these lessons.
In the activity, Escape The Early Republic, students are continuing an adventure in which they are once again helping the famed historian Dr. Strongarm who has been trapped by his evil nemesis Dr. Killty. (See First Escape Room in this series ) This time Dr. Strongarm has used his knowledge of science to construct a time machine trapping Dr. Strongarm in the past. To escape students will have to work together to analyze primary source documents as well as explore a variety of historical thinking skills designed to help students properly analyze documents.
As students work together to solve the puzzles they will be critically analyzing a series of documents from 1800 - 1848, these documents explore Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Women’s Suffrage and Native Americans.
This activity also comes with access to a corresponding web based activity.