Thanksgiving Escape Rooms For Kids

As we approach the holiday season, your students might be growing weary of the usual classroom activities. Are you detecting a little bit of restlessness when you assign a reading comprehension passage? Don’t worry, I have the perfect activity to inject some life into your reading practice- escape rooms!

 Students will have a blast using their reading skills to solve the puzzles and escape the room. Trust me, it will be one of the most memorable activities of the year! 

There is even a Thanksgiving Escape Room perfect for the fall- The Thanksgiving Mystery. 

To successfully complete this activity, students have to “break the box” to “escape the room”. As they try to solve the mystery, they will practice their reading skills as well as using teamwork and critical thinking skills. 

thanksgiving escape room

 

Your students will be having so much fun trying to escape, they might not even notice that they are developing higher level comprehension skills. Application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation are all necessary to open the box. Rather than using simple worksheets, you will be letting your students develop their higher order thinking skills while having fun! 

Thanksgiving Escape Room

This Thanksgiving Mystery video will introduce the activity to your students and hook them in.

The Thanksgiving Escape the Room resource includes all the steps you need to engage your students in the Thanksgiving Mystery. After a little bit of preparation following the easy checklist, you’ll be ready to guide your students through their adventure. 

The escape room can be used if your children are in the classroom, or easily adapted for at home learners. Your kids are going to have a blast exploring the different steps including a corn maze!

For more Thanksgiving fun, check out my Thanksgiving Turkey Run Digital Escape Room.

This activity would be perfect for the days leading up to Thanksgiving break. Have you used escape rooms in your classroom yet? Tell me in the comments! 

thanksgiving escape room

 

 

Election and Voting Activities for Kids

Teaching students about the importance of voting in a democracy is very important.  Now more than ever kids are curious about politics. So, how can you teach students without getting too political? If you teach about elections and the voting process instead of using real political candidates, young students will still develop an understanding of how elections work, the responsibility of voting and how their feelings tie into the process. Election and voting activities for kids can be simple.

Here are some things your can do to teach about voting:

  • Share books like Grace for President by Kelly Dipucchio or  Vote for ME! by Ben Clanton.
  • Talk about commercials, signs or local leader positions.
  • Write opinion papers about voting or elections.
  • Discuss how feelings help make decisions.
  • Hold a class pet election.
  • Students can take polls about favorite snacks or sports.
  • Make a voting booth or box. Have ballots for students to pick their end of the day activity.
  • Create a class campaign for a class mascot with posters, stickers and commercials.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, lead by example. Let them see your “I VOTED” sticker or tell them how you take time out of your day to vote.

Ideas for PARENTS to do with children to help them learn about voting:

  • Take your child to vote and discuss why you are voting for a particular candidate.
  • Write a letter to an elected official as a family.
  • Talk about how peaceful protesting is patriotic. Loving a country means speaking up when we disagree with actions.
  • Share your beliefs with your child.
  • Discuss how people all have different ideas and how to respect each other.
  • Read a book about voting, democracy or citizenship.
  • Point out signs about elections and discuss how they help us learn about candidates.
  • Let the family vote about what is for dinner.
  • Vote on a family vacation.
  • Use math to explain how we count results.

Virtual Teaching about Voting

Google Slides and Forms make it easy for students to learn about the voting process. You can create a poll using Google Forms to send to your students virtually. Share the results with the class over a live virtual meeting.

Election and Voting Activities for Kids

Check out the K-3 Google Slides for teaching kids about the voting process.


If you are needing some tips for teaching while social distancing, check out my post here! 

Teaching Social Skills To Kids

Reading, writing, and arithmetic- that’s all you have to teach, right? Once you’ve wiped the tears from your face from laughing so hard, take a moment to think about the non-academic skills that you teach in your classroom. Students learn study skills, organization, public speaking, and many other important tasks. These skills are necessary and worth our time as teachers. Perhaps most importantly, students learn in our classrooms how to engage in appropriate social interactions. 

Social skills help students succeed in the classroom, but also impact their success as adults entering the “real world”. Appropriate social behaviors help your classroom run smoothly and help students learn how to interact positively with their communities. Although you teach lots of social skills implicitly while running a classroom, students often need explicit instruction in managing their emotions and behaviors. 

Why teach social skills?

  • It helps students manage their emotions
  • You can give your students support on how to handle certain emotions
  • It teaches self-regulation
  • Improves behavior
  • It creates better problem solvers
  • Can easily be incorporated into your lessons

Not to worry- I have developed some tools that will make social skills instruction painless!

First, the Daily Behavior Chart Resource is perfect for addressing specific ways students can control their behaviors throughout the day.

social skills

Teachers can target the behaviors that students need to develop social skills successfully. It includes editable charts to track students’ behaviors, which are great for parent feedback and data collection. There are several styles of charts to help you best meet your students’ needs.

Students will also love the included contracts for earning rewards. By recording and looking back on their choices, students will learn that they can control how their day develops. 

Next, the Calm Down Corner Printables are perfect for helping students learn to control their emotions and reactions.

social skills

Learning about feelings and how to express them is key to developing strong social skills. The printables in this set will help you create a calm classroom space while assisting students in working through their feelings.

social skills

This resource includes visual cue cards, charts to track students behaviors, printables to help students identify triggers, and even posters for your Calm Down Corner. 

Grab these resources today and watch your students develop amazing social skills!

If you are needing some tips for teaching while social distancing, check out my post here! 

social skills

Facts About Bats For Kids

There are so many things to love about fall besides the pumpkin spice and fall scented candles, it is also so fun to bring fall and Halloween themes into the classroom. Integrating seasons and holidays gets your students excited to learn, and what teacher doesn’t love that? 

One topic that my students love to learn about is bats! They only come out at night, they’re spooky, and might just share some qualities with vampires. They make a great science topic for fall or Halloween! Teaching facts about bats to your kiddos is exciting and will help increase engagement and retention. 

Here are some bat facts to include in your lessons:

  • Bats are flying mammals
  • There are over 1000 different species of bat
  • They are nocturnal or active at night
  • They feed on insects, fruit, fish, and some even on blood

To help you take your bats unit up to the next level, I created a special Bat Facts Escape Room! This game is so fun, your students will be learning without even realizing it. 

Check out my Bats Escape Room Video Tutorial here

This escape room requires no prep and is super easy to use. It is great for in person learning or distance learning. 

During the escape, students will be tasked with solving 4 lock clues in order to escape the bizarre bats buzzing around their building. There is a pdf included in this download with directions, the link to the site, an answer key and an optional note taking worksheet for students. This activity takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

Students will:

  • Listen to short audio directions and a YouTube video
  • Solve 5 Comprehension Questions
  • Solve a Jigsaw Puzzle
  • Count BATS
  • Work on problem solving as a group or individually
  • Learn about echolocation, colonies, different types of bats, vampire bats, and nocturnal animals

Do you have any tips for teaching students about these nocturnal animals? Let me know in the comments!

bats

 

Want more Halloween fun? Check out my Halloween Escape Room here!