Home Educational Trends The Merry Merry Breakout

The Merry Merry Breakout

by Peggy Reimers
merry, merry
Somewhere in the month of December,  I stumbled upon a blog post by John Spencer entitled, “Ten Creative Alternatives to Showing Movies Before the Break.” You can read his article here and pick up some great ideas for the last week of school in 2019.
Creative Alternatives

Creative Alternatives

John is a former middle school teacher and current college professor in Oregon. He is on a quest to transform schools into “bastions of creativity and wonder.” If you visit his blog, you can sign up to receive the Ten Creative Ways to End the Semester Resource Pack. I was very interested in checking out his blog to see his ten activities. John has great suggestions that can be incorporated into all grade levels and subject areas. However, I must say he should have included a digital breakout, bumping the list to ELEVEN! "<yoastmark

Breaking Into Breakouts

breakout is a bit like an escape room but on a smaller (and safer) scale. Students are challenged to use clues to open locks, and ultimately finish the game. The Merry Merry Breakout is entirely digital. A digital breakout does not require a physical box and locks, like traditional breakouts. Instead, this type of breakout needs a web page on a Google Site. The page can include images, text, and hidden hyperlinks that students can use to solve digital puzzles. A Google Form is used to create the digital locks. In order for a Google Form question to act as a lock, the question needs to have the response validation selected. You can find this option by clicking the “Skinny Snowman” (three horizontal dots) in the lower right-hand corner of each question. The most common locks are Direction, Color, Number, Word, Letter, and Date.

The Merry Merry Breakout

 The Merry Merry Breakout is a Christmas-themed breakout with five digital locks. The breakout contains information on Christmas traditions and holiday trivia. You can find all the answers on the breakout site. A couple of the answers will only be revealed if you locate the hidden links on the page. These links will lead to puzzles that will need to be solved. I kept the external links to only one outside source to eliminate annoying ads or possible inappropriate content. The only external link on the site is a YouTube video of the Frosty the Snowman song. This video is not a digital lock answer, so don’t be concerned if your school district blocks YouTube videos. Don’t forget! You can always email me for hints or answers if you get stuck on any of the puzzles.  Along with gift opening, caroling, gingerbread house decorating, and other family traditions, consider adding a digital breakout to your family gatherings or holiday festivities. You can find a plethora of physical and digital breakouts at the official Breakout EDU website. Happy two times: Happy holidays and happy breaking out! ***This breakout is typically done with Grades 4-8.

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