Escape the Mayflower
is a Thanksgiving-themed “escape room” that will offer you and your students a fun activity for the last day before the break or anytime you teach about the voyage of the Pilgrims. This escape room contains four challenging puzzles with clues that students need to solve and decode to find where the Pilgrims should settle in the New World. Escape the Mayflower
can be played either “Breakout Box” or “Amazing Race” style.
This product is also included in a BUNDLE!
What's the prep?
Prep involves printing, cutting just a few pages and hanging 2 signs in target locations in your classroom. You can save even more time by only cutting the 1 page with the signs. No other prep or materials necessary, though some optional ideas are also provided in the instructions.
Will I have to buy anything extra?
No, you do NOT need any fancy locks or to use any Google forms.
What supplies are needed?
Paper (8.5in x 11in)
A printer (preferably color, but black and white is fine)
Optional: envelops, twine
What will my students do?
Working in small groups of 3-6, your students will cooperate to solve 4 puzzles to escape the Mayflower. If you are a homeschooler a single child can complete this, but it may take longer and require more hints. The puzzles are:
Students will use a key to decipher a message from John Carver the first Governor of Plymouth Colony, which will lead them to the location of the next clue (which they will then get from the teacher).
Students will work together to discover a secret message from the ship’s cook’s log. They will need to do close reading, but they can find a hint in Governor Carver’s message. This will lead them to the location of the final puzzles (which they will get from the teacher).
Puzzles 3 and 4:
The final puzzles need to be combined to read the coordinates on the map in order to tell the crew of the Mayflower where to sail. These clues involve matching pairs and a word search. Again, there is a hint in Governor Carver’s message.
How long does this take?
Estimated time: 30-40 minutes
What is Included in this digital download?
This is a zip folder that includes the following pages as PDFs:
• Easy-to-follow set-up instructions
• A complete walkthrough with solutions to all puzzles
• A map of Cape Cod and the area near Plymouth Massachusetts
• A portion of a (fictional) log from John Carver, the first Governor of Plymouth Colony
• A (fictional) report from William Bradford, one the men in the scouting party
• A (fictional) log from the unnamed Mayflower cook, noting historically accurate supplies
• A Thanksgiving matching puzzle
• A short Thanksgiving word find puzzle
• A cipher decoder/key
• A sheet describing what really happened on the Mayflower and a brief history of the first Thanksgiving
• Hint cards for students
• Signs to place at the two classroom locations students need to find
• A poster for your door (8.5 x 11in)
• A “You Escaped the Mayflower” poster (8.5 x 11in)
• Alternative versions of the log from John Carver and report from William Bradford for younger students.
• Alternative version of Puzzle 2 that keep students from from sharing the answers with later classes.
• Alternative files that use less ink.
One clue leads to where students’ coats belong in the classroom. An alternative of the same clue lead to where the books are kept. If your classroom doesn’t have a designated coat hook or book area, let me know and I can create a customized version for you with a different landmark (ideally a word with 6 or fewer letters).
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