Nine clues. 22 children. Four locks. 45 minutes.

So I did it! I had a go at writing and running my first Breakout session for our history unit.

This term we are looking at the early explorers in Australia, as part of tuning in I really wanted to give our students a chance to complete a breakout.

Introducing the class to Burke and Wills and getting them excited about our unit was my aim, I really liked the History Breakout sessions I could find online so I decided to write one specific to Burke and Wills.

The scene was set with a short text to build up the atmosphere and then it was game on. I was lucky enough to be able to run this session four times with different Grade four classes so I was able to make changes and tweak it along the way.

The first change I made was to alter the additional text (that was a clue). The first time through it was all in one piece but I decided to separate it into three separate texts, the effect this had on the group was that more children had clues to hold and work with, enabling feelings of involvement.

The other change I made after trialling the Breakout with two classes was to offer a clue at the halfway time mark, if they chose to accept the clue then the prize in the box would be halved!  Both future teams choose to accept the clue at this point. It did result in success solving the Breakout, and they still got a prize at the end.  

Below I have included a outline of the breakout I designed to introduce the students in Grade Four to Burke and Wills as explorers. Have a go if you feel it fits your curriculum, I’d love to hear how you and your students go!



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