Escape Room with Animal Adaptations

Rated 4.86 out of 5, based on 64 reviews
64 Ratings
Teachers Are Terrific
Grade Levels
3rd - 5th
Formats Included
  • Zip
77 pages
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My students loved doing this activity as a part of our wrap up on a unit on animal defense mechanisms.
I used this for a science class I taught at a children's museum, and the kids loved it! I was able to use this easily without a lot of prep, which was a huge plus.
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This Escape Room is a perfect culminating activity for your study of Animal Adaptations. This unlock-the-box event will keep kids busy solving math problems, matching descriptions, and completing a secret message puzzle. They will have such fun and practice skills at the same time!

An Escape room is a puzzle game in which students solve riddles and puzzles and find clues to finish tasks. In this Escape, students solve puzzles to open locked boxes.

NOTE: This Escape Room resource is available in a money-saving bundle!

NOTE: If you are looking for a reading resource and STEM Challenge without the Escape Room here it is:

The Escape Room

For the Box 1 task, each group will match animal cards to their adaptation descriptions and if done correctly the cards will spell the phrase “large cat”. There is a hint on the card telling them to look back at the animal clue cards where they will find numbers. By locating the correct number teams will unlock the first box. The student directions are provided with and without hints to make the task easy or more challenging.

For the Box 2 task, students complete math problems to find the lock code. The answer to each math problem can be found in blank spaces of the accompanying poem. Each problem/answer also has an assigned alphabet letter that will be written on the blank space. If the letters are placed correctly the poem gives them a clue about one of animals on the clue cards (used in Task 1). The clues will lead them to the lock code for Box 2. The math page is provided in two ability levels and in alternative printing options.

For the Box 3 task, students will complete a secret message code. The message will reveal a clue that matches the description of one of the animals on the original set of animal cards. Finding the correct animal will also determine the final lock code. The secret message page is provided in an easy and more challenging version.

So, what do you need? You will need three number locks for this quest. Directions are included to use this set without these locks! You will also need three boxes. This can be a plastic or metal toolbox, but any box will work- even a cardboard box! Directions and photos are included for how to set up the boxes and locks or how to use a version without locks. You do not need 3 boxes and 3 locks per group! It’s three boxes and three locks for the entire class.

Included in the Escape Room file of this resource, you will find: a table of contents, and 3 pages of tips and tricks for setting up everything. For Box 1- 2 pages of teacher directions, student directions cards in two versions, animal clue cards and descriptions, and the box labels. For Box 2- 2 pages of teacher directions, math page in two levels, alternative printing options, and box labels. For Box 3 – 2 pages of teacher directions, secret message page in two versions and two sizes, and box labels.

In addition: answer keys where applicable, hint cards for each task, an alternative locking system (made of paper), STEM Challenge information section, certificates to award students completing the task, 3 animal adaptation posters, black and white versions of all labels and certificates, and an organizing check-off sheet for you.

The STEM Challenge

The challenge is to build a 3-D model of an animal and its adaptation. (Allow 45- 90 minutes for the STEM activity- this depends on how extensive you allow students to decorate their animals.)

The STEM Challenge file specifically contains an overview page, 2 pages of teacher’s directions, constraints in 2 forms, lab sheet, 2 pages of photos, and a scoring rubric. The forms for this challenge are editable.

Check the preview to see everything!

One more thing to note: The Escape Room event can be completed in 30-45 minutes. The addition of the STEM Challenges will add an extra class session of at least 45 minutes (and can be longer).

YOUR PREP for this event includes: printing, laminating, and cutting apart the animal clue cards, printing the math page and the secret message page for each team, and setting up the boxes. Total prep time is approx. 30-45 minutes.

NOTE: The STEM Challenge can be purchased separately:

NOTE: If you are looking for a reading resource and STEM Challenge without the Escape Room here it is:


You might also enjoy these animal resources:


For more Escape Room resources click below:

Land Forms



Space Shuttles




Winter Sports

Back to School


Escape Room Mega Bundle


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Total Pages
77 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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