French Grammar Escape Rooms

Why you should try an escape room with your French class today

Have you tried an escape room with your FSL learners? Escape rooms are incredibly popular with children and adults of every age right now and they have made their way to classrooms everywhere. They are a fun and exciting way to introduce or review any topic in your FSL classroom. In this post, I will outline the benefits of using escape rooms in your FSL classroom and provide some tips and helpful resources to get you started today!

What is an escape room?

An escape room is a game of varied complexity that traditionally takes place in a locked room. Several people play to ‘escape’ from the room given a specific amount of time. To escape, players must solve a series of puzzles and unlock locks to obtain clues and codes to proceed through the game. 

Of course, this format has been modified for use in educational settings by omitting the locked room. Instead, students must solve puzzles to unlock lockboxes or combination locks to proceed through the game. The game can also be played digitally, using an online form to verify the codes or combinations.

Given the rise in popularity of escape rooms, Teachers have been using this format to reinforce key concepts in the classroom. The game format is not only engaging for students but can also be used to introduce or review curriculum in any subject.

Benefits of the escape room format for students of FSL:

There are many great things about the escape room format for classroom use. Below,  I outline the 3 main reasons why I like to use escape rooms with my students.

Benefit #1 – Student engagement
The first benefit of using the escape room format in the classroom is that escape rooms are insanely fun! There are elements of urgency, mystery and intrigue in every escape room. What is not to love? As Teachers, we know that, when students are engaged, they are focused, on task and have a higher likelihood of retaining and applying the material learned. 

Teachers who have tried escape rooms in their French classrooms have said the following about student engagement:

These are a great way to get students up and moving, engaging with material in a competitive, hands-on format. Merci beaucoup!”

This was a fun way to do grammar, my students liked it. It got them moving around.”

Excellent way to consolidate a grammar point. Love that the instructions are in both English and French to make the task accessible for all levels of students. Brilliant that it can be used with or without tech. Very minimal day of prep required.”

So much fun! Never have I seen my kids so excited to conjugate Verbs!” 

Benefit #2 – Collaboration
The tasks and puzzles that require solving during an escape room game are often work best using small groups of students. When students work through the tasks as a team, they benefit from each other's strengths and knowledge. Our students can always benefit from additional opportunities to practice working with others. Escape rooms provide students an opportunity to collaborate and work together. 

Benefit #3 – Application of knowledge
An additional benefit of the escape room format is that allows students to apply the knowledge that they have learned in the classroom. Instead of solely the acquisition of a grammar concept, students get to use the concept in action!

How do I design an escape room for my classroom?

I’m going to be honest – designing an escape room is a complex task that takes A LOT of time and prep work. However, there are many free instructional videos available and some great online tools to help you design puzzles for your students to solve. (I have included some links to those resources below to help get you started- see the ‘helpful resources’ section.)

Initially, you will want to begin with the end in mind. Meaning, what do you want your students to accomplish by the end of the escape? Do you want to create a review for a unit? Do you want to introduce a new topic or theme? I suggest writing out all of the material that you will want your students to engage with during the escape. 

Next, you will have to look at the material and decide on which puzzle formats you will use to create the secret codes for students to find. Will you use a cipher, a maze scrambled words, or hidden text? (See the ‘helpful resources’ section at the end of this post for more puzzle ideas.)

Lastly, you will need a story. What is the purpose of the escape room? Typically, there is an introduction letter, a news story or a ‘scene setter’ read by the teacher that will introduce the game and explain why the series of codes and puzzles needs to be solved. The best introductions are exciting and have a sense or urgency. 

HELP! I don’t have time to design my own escape room!

I hear you! Designing an escape room is not a quick task. To help, I have a FREE sample FRENCH GRAMMAR escape room available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I invite you to download it and check it out – it can provide some great ideas as a template to get you started.

If you are looking for MORE: I have made 6 of my FRENCH GRAMMAR ESCAPE ROOMS available for purchase in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. They are pre-planned and do not require any special equipment. They are available in the following themes: ĂȘtre avoir, les prĂ©positions de lieu, les adjectifs possessifs, le pluriel des noms, les verbes en er, and aller & faire. These are all great for reviewing grammar concepts with students in grades 4 and up! 

Get pre-made French Grammar Escape Rooms HERE

Another idea is to have your students design their own escape rooms! Working in small groups, students would compile a series of tasks and puzzles on a given topic and then the other groups would have to solve them. This would get your students engaged with the curriculum material by writing their own stories and puzzles. 

Helpful resources:
Below are some links to some videos and sites that provide some helpful tools and tips to get you started with escape rooms for your classroom.

How to create digital locks for the classroom-

Have you tried an escape room with your FSL students yet? Leave me a comment and tell me about it below!

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