photo: Carrie Toth

A huge trend right now in education across all levels and subject areas is breakout boxes. Inspired by “escape rooms,” which are a fun way to spend an evening with friends, breakout boxes can bring that same element of real-life fun and problem solving into the classroom in an academic way.

The primary organization behind bringing the escape room concept to the world of education is Breakout EDU. Breakout EDU sells breakout box kits and also allows teachers to publish their breakout activities (the activities are free).

Many teachers have now begun to create their own do-it-yourself breakout boxes and are sharing activities via blogs, Google Drive, and Facebook groups.

Fluency Matters recently did a webinar about breakout boxes and we thought our readers might enjoy a little “peek” into the world of breakouts.

The first thing you need to do is assemble some supplies. Martina Bex has compiled a really nice list of items with links directly to each item on Amazon. You can also just order the kit from Breakout EDU if budget is not an issue, but you can probably save $20-$25 by purchasing the items individually on Amazon or at your local hardware store or home improvement center.

The next step is to find a game. Leslie Davison has been a teacher-leader in the world language community for years and she has been presenting a game she created called Salvando la Noche Vieja at conferences for about a year. She introduced me to the concept of breakouts last summer at the iFLT Conference. Scroll down for more teacher-created breakouts!

Once you have found a game and tried it out with a group of students, you might be ready to create your own game. If not, there are lots of games available that have been created for you!

Carrie Toth and I both have Teacher’s Guides about to be published for our novels Hasta la sepultura and Vector and we have created breakouts as part of our guides! As we prepared our breakouts, one thing we wanted to be be very mindful of was the amount of comprehensible input our breakout activities would provide our students. These activities are really fun, but our goal is always language acquisition. By requiring students to interact with text, both audio and written, we can accomplish our goal of giving our students a fun and NOVEL way to acquire language!


Live Breakout Game at Central States!

We’d like to help you experience a breakout first-hand. We will be doing a LIVE Breakout game at the Central States Conference on Friday, March 10! Be watching this blog, Fluency Matters’ facebook page, and #FMBreakout on Twitter for clues! OH! And did we mention, there are FABULOUS prizes for conference attendees AND those playing at home?

How to participate:

1. Attend CSCTFL in Chicago March 9-11. Visit us in Booth #510.

2. Attend the 11:15am Friday sessions presented by Carol Gaab, Carrie Toth, or Justin Slocum Bailey. Attend Carol’s 8am session Saturday. They will have cards that will entitle you to try a lock on our breakout box at the Fluency Matters booth! If you are at the conference be sure to keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter, and this blog for updates and clues! Check in with us at booth #510 also!

3. Tweet! (We are giving you a couple of weeks to join twitter if you are not already there! You will love it! Ask a teenager to help you!) Watch twitter and facebook as well as our blog for clues. Follow @fluencymatters, like Fluency Matters on Facebook, and follow this blog by e-mail for easy access! Tweet with #FMBreakout between 8:00am Friday and 11:30am Saturday (Central Time). Help the teachers break out, comment on the game, or just say how sad you feel that you can’t be there with us in person, and you will be entered to win a class set of novels!

How to WIN:

1. Winner of the #FMBreakout drawing will win a class set of 25 novels (one title) with a Teacher’s Guide OR a 9-month premium e-course subscription for up to 150 students (one title) with a Teacher’s Guide. All teachers who participate in the live breakout game at CSCTFL will be entered in this drawing as well.

2. The teacher who successfully opens a lock at booth #510 will win a free downloadable Teacher’s Guide (limit one per person).

3. The teacher who successfully opens the locked breakout box and ends the game will win their choice of 25 novels (if you select novels in stock, you may select any 25 books, or we will ship you a class set of a single title of your choice).

Are you ready to BREAK IN to the world of Breakouts? Here are some additional resources to help you get started!

Noche de Oro Breakout created by Silvia Cebrian

Brandon Brown versus Yucatan Breakout created by Minette Junkins

Salvando la Nochevieja Breakout created by Leslie Davison


Stay tuned! We have MORE Breakout excitement coming your way here at CI Peek during the month of March!

Breakout Game Terms and Conditions













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