Sputnik: Cold War: Informational Texts: Primary Sources: Secondary Sources: Textual Evidence
The storyline of A Sputnik Mystery Escape Room is fictional but the primary sources and informational texts are factual. Students discover that they are librarians at the Library of Congress and are called upon by a congressional committee to help solve a mystery. An old locked box has been found in the basement of the White House. Students are tasked with using primary sources to open the box which may contain secrets related to the Cold War and Sputnik. They work cooperatively to learn about the Cold War, Sputnik, and primary and secondary sources. This fun activity encourages students to read. Students will laugh out loud when they finally open the box, literally or digitally, to find an unexpected secret.
A Sputnik Mystery Escape Room includes:
1. Instructions for setting up escape room boxes, digital escape room, and paper and pen escape room
2. Detailed instructions for implementing the activity
3. Link (QR code) to a news broadcast about Sputnik-1
4. Student answer sheet (for codes and written explanations)
5. Two primary sources related to Sputnik (released to the public)
6. White House map (National Park Service Map)
7. Newsreel broadcast written transcript (can be used instead of listening to broadcast through QR code link)
8. Student informational handout and instructions
9. Optional Digital Escape Room link (QR code)
A Sputnik Mystery Escape Room offers 3 options:
Option 1 - Standard escape room setup - In order to use this option, you must have access to the following items: two lock boxes, key lock, 3 digit lock, 4 digit lock, directional lock, and word lock; iPad or other device for each group to scan a QR code; Instructions are not provided on "how" to set locks.; Lock codes are included in the instructions, and methods for finding clues and codes are explained in detail.
Option 2 - Digital escape room setup - Google form provided through QR code and URL
Option 3 - Paper and pen escape room setup - can be completed without any student devices. The downloadable answer sheet is used by students to list the codes for locks and written explanations. The downloadable written transcript is provided to students instead of students linking to the newsreel through a QR code.