As I’ve previously shared, one of my (and my students’) favorite lessons has been their playing online “Escape The Room” games using written “walkthroughs” (step-by-step guides for how to play and win the game).
Students get in pairs, reading and playing the game together, with the first four-or-five groups to finish the game winning fruit snacks.
The energy and level of engagement in these activities is always through the roof!
Unfortunately, though, several developments in recent years have put an end to those lessons.
One, many of those games used Flash and, as we all know, that has been relegated to the dustbin of software history.
Two, practically all of the Escape the Room games that are online now are on gaming sites that are blocked by most school district Internet content filters.
And, three, nobody writes “walkthroughs” anymore. Instead, gamers now make videos of them playing the game and making all the correct moves.
Well, I have finally found an unblocked site that has many Escape the Room games that don’t use Flash. I think it has made it through the content filters because it’s primarily a math site. Check out all the games at Hooda Math.
Unfortunately, the walkthroughs for the games (which are conveniently available on the same site) are still on video. That’s not for language development.
Fortunately, however, one of the many classes I’m teaching this year is an early morning ELL class before regular school begins, and I have an abundance of peer tutors taking part in it.
A couple of them are hard at work watching the walkthrough videos and turning them into accessible English text versions, like this one.
I plan on having them create similar walkthroughs for all the games on the site, which I’ll share on this blog when they’re done.
Also, I’ve learned that the excellent Genially site has templates where you can create your own Escape The Room games, so I think I’ll have the tutors have a go at creating some original ones. Eventually, I’ll perhaps see if some of my ELL Newcomer students can also create their own!
I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.