Two epic games. One awesome product! Mixing a REVERSE Escape Room and The Plastic Straw Bridge Challenge into a back-to-back pirate classroom activity, it's hands-on learning and icebreaker activities all rolled in to one. This multi-day back to school bundle will teach and model growth mindset while introducing class procedures and testing all sorts of teamwork, speed, and strategy. In short: it's a game-changer. Packed with collaboration, hands-on-learning, and team-based resource management -- you'll never want to lose another class period reading over a syllabus again.
It’s simply too much fun to fit into a single activity! So here’s how we’ll play:
Player teams race through eight asynchronous centers of #QRBreakIN activity, collecting pirate loot for completing self-guided puzzles that introduce everything they'll need to know about your course.
Student teams use their special pirate-inspired upgrades earned on the first day of play to enhance their team building efforts in The Plastic Straw Bridge Challenge -- working together to construct actual plastic bridges capable of supporting heavy loads.
(*LEADING A FACULTY / STAFF PD? This entire activity is SUPER fun for adults, too! Let teachers get hands-on practice taking innovative new instructional strategies for a test drive to show them the "pirate power" of a student-centered classroom!")
This completely editable gamified approach to a welcome back activity can be modified for any course or content area from grades 5-12. Tap into the INFINITE appeal of swashbuckling pirates and the timeless team-based strategy of The Plastic Straw Bridge Challenge to kick your year into high gear with instant engagement from day one.
ABOUT THE PRODUCT:
Imagine a class Escape Room in REVERSE. Where student teams compete to break IN to a new unit of study, teaching themselves by solving asynchronous BYOD puzzles in a race against their peers and the clock.
I've had a ton of fun designing and implementing themed escape rooms in my HS classes, but for as AMAZING as class escape rooms and tools like Breakout EDU can be (for real, they're fantastic!
) -- I've found the traditional escape room to be somewhat limited when it comes to its functionality in ensuring that all students receive access to all puzzles. This posed a real challenge when using escape rooms in place of traditional lectures to introduce new content that could be delivered in such a way that every student would get the same level of access to new materials.
And thus, #QRBreakIN was born.
Think of it as a REVERSE Escape Room (or a caffeinated update on old-school "centers" with a gamification twist) designed for simultaneously teaching eight different concepts through asynchronous problem-solving by using devices in small groups. Capturing the fun and excitement of an escape room, while self-pacing and enriching content in a way that moves more efficiently through all of the material you'd otherwise have to cram into a traditional lecture.
No physical locks to set or boxes to keep track of. With a ticking countdown and an overhead leaderboard so EVERY student will complete EVERY activity -- and find themselves genuinely excited to do so! This REVERSE Escape Room is designed to help your students “Break IN” to the world of your classroom through a series of timed challenges, team puzzles, and self-paced unit content and enrichment activities.
ABOUT THIS GAME:
This game is designed as a teaching activity as you welcome students to your classroom in the first days of school. The gamified approach to activity centers (and the subsequent Plastic Straw Bridge Challenge) can likewise be reformatted for play for any future unit of study at any time during the year (you might likewise consider using individual #QRBreakIN puzzle templates at select intervals throughout any unit). Though it is originally designed as a “back to school�� style activity with asynchronous centers, it can quickly be adapted for any new concept in virtually any course or content area with access to BYOD or one-to-one internet access.
This high-energy "Pirates" inspired activity is 100% editable -- and requires minimal set-up. For the #QRBreakIN, teams compete asynchronously in a looping three step process:
• SELECT a puzzle from the available choices by rolling the custom dice
• SOLVE the puzzle at your desk group with your teammates to earn custom badges
• REDEEM badges to earn super power-ups for The Plastic Straw Bridge Challenge
Player teams will earn badges as they solve different puzzles, with the target of being the first team to complete all eight puzzles before time expires. Then it's time for teammates to strategize how best to spend all of their hard-earned winnings before jumping right in to The Plastic Straw Bridge Challenge.
Students will need BYOD or one-to-one devices with free QR scanner apps installed. There are eight puzzles in this game, testing the following skills by using a mix of traditional handwritten notes and discussion, websites, and these free mobile apps:
• TREASURE MAP: Course Introduction Survey Google Forms
• SPYGLASS: “Can you draw an ideal classroom?” Sketchnoting
• SKULL & BONES: Content Quiz Quizizz
• GOLD BRICKS: Growth Mindset Article Webquest
• CAPTAIN’S HAT: Video Trailer YouTube
• CHEST: Course Content Preview EdPuzzle
• PIRATE SHIP: “What’s your Best vs. Favorite Class?” Flipgrid
• BOTTLE: Great teacher / student discussion Microlab
+ 7 page game instruction manual
+ 29 fully illustrated Google Slides for the #QRBreakIN, with all printables and escape room activity scenario planning documents for 40-90 minutes of simulation (the template of which you can use again and again to introduce a similar "break in" for any future unit of study) plus...
+ 7 fully illustrated Google Slides for The Plastic Straw Bridge Challenge, with step-by-step instructions and activity debrief presentation notes
+ EIGHT themed puzzles that can serve as in-game activities or stand alone centers for asynchronous pre-teaching / assessment of course basics.
+ TWO ready to go, plug-and-play quiz activities, with ready-made sample assignments using EdPuzzle (1 video with 10 questions) and Quizziz (10 questions),
+ A FREE copy of my course welcome letter that's otherwise available on TPT for $2
, along with a complete set of survey questions in a back-to-school Google Forms questionnaire for inspiration.
*(Note: Not ready for a full-class Escape Room? No problem. Teachers can use these same interactive puzzles as stand-alone activities to be completed in small groups across multiple days of your welcome back week! Have groups solve one or two puzzles a day to keep chasing for badges one at a time as you roll out new classroom tools or concepts). Plus you have full edit access to the Google Slides presentation, which makes it a PERFECT pedagogical tool to revisit time and again as you break "in" to any new unit of study)!
+ ONE Pirates-Themed gameboard, designed to spark visual intrigue and echo the action-packed world of high seas adventure.
+ Custom POWER-UP player cards, designed to increase strategy, teamwork, and resource management (with activity instructions)
+ Instructions and modification ideas for constructing a classroom Resource Management Bonus Game activity (perfect as a first day exit ticket or as a second day warm-up)!
+ Complete instructions on how to create themed Google Forms and customized QR codes for all puzzles to serve as electronic locks
+Step-by-step teacher walk-through for all #QRBreakIN activity puzzles. (Included as speaker notes on each page of the Google Slides)
+ Step-by-step walkthrough of the pedagogical rationales and instructional strategies behind each of the game's puzzles, mixing high-energy hands-on problem-solving, kinesthetic learning, and app-based gamification. A sample: "A microlab is a timed discussion in which teammates take turns hearing one another out as they respond to the same “HOT” (“Higher Order Thinking”) question. Hot questions are multi-layered questions without simple “yes” or “no” answers, so they typically lend themselves to multiple layers of interpretations. Keep digging! And be prepared to use rich detail to fill the time! When you’re ready, call The Captain over to observe your group’s Microlab discussion on this question: “What makes a great teacher? What makes a great student?”
+Step-by-step teacher walkthrough with sample work products and to how to set up accounts and activate all game puzzles.
+ Fully customizable Google Slides download contains plug-and-play Escape Room scenario and review game that can be put in place TODAY if your students have device access. Likewise, includes instructions on how to modify any puzzles to your course needs (including strategies for classes using laptops) -- creating incredible versatility and flexible re-use.
High energy, visually stunning, and fully immersive -- this is a class escape room done right. Driven by student collaboration, competition, and communication skills: it's an immersive BREAK IN activity that your classes will NEVER forget.
Have a blast with this double-dose of gamified resources. I will absolutely be using it in my eleventh grade classroom the first week of school right there with you! Quite possibly my favorite way to start a new school year.
*PS: While I really cannot say enough great things about BreakoutEDU, please note that this product is in no way affiliated with, designed for, or endorsed by BreakoutEDU. Two totally separate products with two completely different instructional aims. BreakoutEDU is run by awesome people with an fantastic class-based Escape Room product, where students collaborate with classmates to divide & conquer and break out of a themed escape room scenario. #QRBreakIN games use the same timed spirit of competitive play to "break IN" to a new unit, which ensures that ALL students have the chance to work on ALL puzzles.
Want more Escape Rooms?
Comprehensive End-of-Unit Escape Rooms designed for BreakoutEDU:
Escape Room: Death of a Salesman
Escape Room: Emerson, Thoreau and American Romanticism
Escape Room: Hamilton
Escape Room: Poetry of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson
Escape Room: To Kill a Mockingbird
Shakespeare Escape Rooms:
The Merchant of Venice: Shylock's Revenge
Romeo & Juliet
Or Break IN to a Brand New Unit with a REVERSE Escape Room using QR Codes!
As I Lay Dying: The Legend of Bundren #QRBreakIN REVERSE Escape Room (Plays Like Zelda!)
As I Dying: Tull's River Crossing #QRBreakIN REVERSE Escape Room
Ethan Frome #QRBreakIN REVERSE Escape Room
The Great Gatsby #QRBreakIN REVERSE Escape Room
To Kill a Mockingbird REVERSE Escape Room: Break IN to Boo Radley's!
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Candy Land Inspired Reverse Break In
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Dinosaur Park Inspired Back to School Escape Room (With Paper Airplane Assault Mini Game)
Education Avengers Assemble Superhero Themed Reverse Escape Room (with Marshmallow Challenge)
Flight of The Force Space Themed Reverse Escape Room (With Paper Airplane Assault Mini Game)
Fortnite Inspired Marshmallow Challenge Growth Mindset Bundle
Invasion of the Body-Snatching Aliens (with Intergallactic Bowling Bonus Game)
A Pirate's Life (with Plastic Straw Bridges Bonus Challenge)
Wizard's Quiditch Reverse Escape Room (With Paper Quaffle Shot Challenge Bonus Game)
World Class Cup Soccer Inspired Back to School Reverse Escape Room (With Paper Penalty Kick Mini Game)