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Print and Play!
Save the Coral Reef is a no-prep Earth Day escape room with an ocean theme. A marine biologist from Australia discovered someone polluting near the Great Barrier Reef! Can your students find the clues in the trash (rubbish) that reveal who is polluting? This escape room contains four exciting puzzles that lead to clues for a logic grid. You can use this escape room for an ocean unit, even if it is not Earth Day.
What is the prep?
This activity is "no prep!" Prep involves printing. There are optional hint cards you can print and cut out. No other prep or materials necessary and there is nothing to hide or hang up. 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 color printer
Scissors for students
Do my students need to know about the Great Barrier Reef?
No. All the information they need is included within the pages they get.
What will my students do?
Students start out with a backstory, 12 contradictory witness statements about some boats in the area and a pile of rubbish! Working in groups of 3-6 students, they will cooperate to solve 4 puzzles from the trash. The solution to each puzzle is a number that corresponds to a witness statement (diver clue). Once students have the 4 numbers, they use those 4 clues to solve a logic grid. If you are a homeschooler a single child can complete this, but it may take longer and require more hints. The puzzles are:
Candy Bar Cipher Puzzle: Students will work together to decipher a secret message on a candy bar wrapper, using a cipher key.
Old T-shirt Origami: Students will use the same cipher key to decode a secret message of how to cut and fold an old t-shirt to turn it into a number. (It’s not real origami.)
Ocean Crossword Puzzle: Students will read a page about the Great Barrier Reef and ocean pollution (with encouraging things we can do at the end). Then, they will complete a crossword puzzle with questions about the passage. Some of the crossword squares are highlighted. The letters from these squares reveal a clue to the target number. The default version asks 6 questions about the passage, but a simpler 4-question version is also included (The Great Barrier Reef text is the same for both versions).
Plastic Bottles: This fun puzzle is an optical illusion. All students need to do is view the bottle from the correct angle to read the clue. This fun puzzle will promote communicate between group members as those who have seen it explain how they know the answer to their classmates. This relatively quick puzzle is a nice compliment to the crossword puzzle.
Logic Puzzle: After students know the numbers for the 4 correct clues, they will work together to solve a logic grid puzzle to determine which boat was polluting. Instructions about how to solve a logic grid are included on the sheet given to students.
How long does this take?
About 40 minutes. You can read the backstory to the students yourself and use the shorter crossword puzzle to make this shorter.
What is included in this digital download?
This is a zip folder that includes the following pages as PDFs:
• Easy-to-follow printing and set-up instructions, with additional optional ideas
• A complete walkthrough with solutions to all puzzles
• A candy bar cipher puzzle
• A cipher decoder/key
• A t-shirt origami puzzle
• A short introduction to the Great Barrier Reef, climate change and ocean pollution, which students need to read in order to solve the crossword puzzle.
• A crossword puzzle.
• A plastic bottles optical illusion puzzle
• Hint cards for students
• A poster for your door (8.5 x 11in)
• A “You Saved the Coral Reef!” poster (8.5 x 11in)
• A powerpoint with a step-by-step walkthrough of the logic grid, if you want to solve it as a class.
• Alternative version of the crossword puzzle for younger or less able students.
• Alternative versions of the backstory and The Great Barrier Reef with British-English “rubbish” instead of “trash.”
Other escape rooms in my store include: