Breakout rooms, also known as Escape Rooms, are great fun but have you heard of Breakout Boxes?
Todd Elementary STEAM teacher Amira Lahlouh recently presented students with a new STEAM-related challenge that required using breakout-room escape skills.
Instead of breaking out of a room, third graders in Nicole Hesari’s class had to open Breakout Boxes that had multiple locks on them.
The locks on the boxes were of different types (for example, locks with shapes or letters on them). Using clues, students had to figure out the code to unlock the locks.
The papers with the clues had Halloween-themed drawings on them, which were also incorporated into the clues themselves.
“The challenge can be tricky but they are allowed to ask for hints” Ms. Lahlouh said.
With Halloween music in the background, students worked together in small groups.
“Make sure you are all taking turns,” Ms. Lahlouh told the students.
It was evident that the clues were challenging but the students all persevered and worked together, bouncing ideas off one another, trying different methods and focusing on the task.
Their hard work paid off: by the end of the class everyone managed to open all of the locks and open the box wide open to discover lollipops.
“It was really hard, because we could only use two hints,” one student said.
Another student, Druve, thought it was a little hard and a little easy.
“I liked the whole thing,” he added.
“It was easy but I don’t want to do it again,” said Anya. “I’m tired!”
Ms. Lahlouh has plans for more future Breakout Boxes activities for other grades.
“I plan for math-themed breakout box activities for fourth and fifth graders,” she said. “Second graders will have a communities-theme activity coming up. I am not sure about younger grades, but we might have something for the first graders as we get close to the end of the year.”