Elementary Mathematics
Material Type:
Game, Interactive, Student Guide
Lower Elementary
Breakroom, Escape Room, may21
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
Media Formats:
Downloadable docs, Mobile

Education Standards




Breakout (Escape) Room game for helping students use 4C 21st Century Skills (Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and Communication) as well as fluently subtracting with nubers 0-20. Students will use a clue to help them figure out the letter combination to unlock the LOCK. 

Breakout Room Instructions

LOCK COMBINATION: M (20-3=17) A (17-5=12) T (12-6=6) H (6-3=3)


BREAKOUT ROOM- A Day at the Zoo


This is a breakout game used to help students develop the 4 Cs of 21st Century Thinking:

Critical thinking





Main Core Tie

Mathematics Grade 2



Time Frame

1 class periods of 30 minutes each


Group Size

Small Groups


Life Skills

Thinking & Reasoning, Communication



  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Device (laptop, computer, iPad)
  • Printed Breakout clue (to project for the whole class to see, or have students access on their device)


Background for Teachers

This game is a breakout (escape room) type game for students. Students will work in groups to figure

out the clues from the PDF clue and use the google from as their LOCK to see if their combination is

correct. The google form will say "Response submitted" if they have correctly put in the lock



Student Prior Knowledge

Students use knowledge of fluently add and subtract within 20 and the 4 Cs of 21st Century skills to

unlock the breakroom lock.


Intended Learning Outcomes

In this lesson students will be able to work together in a group using the 4 Cs of 21st Century skills

(Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and Communication) as well basic mental math strategies

with in numbers 0-20.


Instructional Procedures

1. Group students into groups of 3-4 students with 1 device per group


2. STORY (read out loud to class)

The children at _____________________ Elementary have had a at the school fundraiser carnival. 

Ms/Mr._______________________ is giving out BALLOONS!  Students are already lining up to get their favorite colors!. 


3. PLAY GAME: Project PDF of the clue or allow students to access the clue digitally. Student work

together as they try to figure out the LETTER CODE clue. (NOTE: teacher should already have figure

out the lock to the game so that he or she can better help facilitate the game). Allow a healthy level of


Let students know that each group may ask for 1 or 2 hints.


HINTS: 1. How many balloons does the teacher have at the beginning? 2. What math operation

does the word "TAKE" make you think of?

Students my use the Google Form to try out the different LETTER LOCK combinations. It will say to

try again if incorrect and will only accept the correct answer.


LOCK COMBINATION: M (20-3=17) A (17-5=12) T (12-6=6) H (6-3=3)


4. Whether all groups have finished or not, have students stop working on their locks and give them a

DEBRIEF question to discuss together before coming together as a class.


5. DEBRIEF: Have students share responses to their debrief questions

These questions cover communication, collaboration, and critical thinking.

  • Describe how another member of your group use good communication skills.
  • Why did your group succeed or fail in completing the game?
  • How can a game like this make your group better problem solvers?
  • Describe a time in the game when your group had a lightbulb moment.
  • Describe something new that you learned through playing the game.
  • Describe a moment in the game when your group worked well together.
  • If your group played this game again, what would you change about the approach to solving the
  • puzzles?
  • How might you change the puzzle to make it more challenging?
  • Describe a moment when your group became frustrated. How could you avoid that next time?
  • How did your group utilize each individual’s strengths?
  • If you were playing this game with a new group, what would you say beforehand to set them up
  • for success?
  • Describe your comfort level for sharing ideas with your group throughout the game



  • Tell the story of the game using emojis
  • Create a new puzzle for this game.


Assessment Plan

Students are assessed on their participation with their group in working through the breakout room

clues and lock combination.