Unlock Student Motivation with Break Out Games

Rae HughartBlog, Class Management, Innovation, Teach Further

Unlock Student Motivation with Break Out Games

It’s the mystery game popping up in classrooms around the globe – Breakout Games!

This group challenge allows friends and families to work together to solve puzzles with the goal of breaking out of a locked room! These themed experiences are 60 minutes of fun for the whole family. Will you find the key?

How can we provide our students the same opportunities for engaging challenges? Design a content filled mystery box for your classroom!

Here are the basics:

(1) Identify a standard, target, or topic you want your students to focus on. This may be a topic being assessed later this week or a standard you are looking to confirm your students have met mastery on.

(2) Determine your end goal. What should students be able to do following this activity?

(3) Organize your students into groups no larger then 10. Depending on your resources, I suggest 5 – 6 as the magic number!

(4) Set a time frame. How long do students get to accomplish the task? Make sure to set a timer counting down the time that every student can see throughout the experience.

(5) Consider your resources! If you have a budget accessible, a few items can truly transform your Breakout Game. This may include a few locks (either numbers or words), lockable containers, decorations to set the mood, colored paper, etc. Otherwise, check out your classroom! What can be utilized as a “mystery item”? You can also reach out to your community! Many household items can be used to enhance your activity.

(6) Brainstorm ways your students can solve each challenge. Do they need a secret password to earn the next clue? Must they unlock a locked box? Will their solution play a song on a keyboard? Will the answer to the challenge lead them to a location to discover their next clue? Will the solution be a phone number of a helpful expert? Will students find a map leading to a secret location? Make each challenge different!

(7) Determine what you want your “last step” to be in the Breakout Game. How will students know they are done? Will students need to open a locked box with a prize inside? Will students earn a reward?

(8) Using your standard/topic and answer possibilities,  design your question challenges. Remember to consider your resources.
For example, if you would like to utilize a number lock, your answer must allow the student to discover the number. This may be a challenge utilizing a numerical answer or utilizing a system related to numbers. For instance, if you want your students to find the numbers 1, 2, and 3, you might provide them the clue of A, B, and C while referring to the lock’s solution.

This step takes the most planning. However, the steps above should help shape your focus and keep you moving!

(9) Create an answer key. You’ll want to always be one step ahead!

(10) Celebrate student success! This can be done in many ways. My favorite…a photobooth of the teams with props. Create a sign that says “We made it!” and one that says “Soooooo close, but not close enough!” It’s always important to celebrate their victories.

Challenge the motivation in your classroom and begin engaging students with mysteries, puzzles, and team building skills! Use break out games to break-in!