Are you looking for a fun way to review Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? Runing out of Frankenstein lesson ideas or looking for some new teaching resources for Mary Shelley’s classic tale? Read on to find out how to do this fun Frankenstein escape room.
Escape rooms are such a fun way to review novels at the end of the unit because they’re an engaging way to get students to recap parts of a novel such as characters, themes, quotes, plot, figurative language. They can also be used to help students practice close reading skills.
But before we get into that, let’s have a quick look at what an escape room is for those of us who have never run them before.
What is an escape room?
An escape room is a series of puzzles that students need to complete in order to ‘escape the room’. Escape rooms can be of two types. The first type is some kind of narrative escape room where students are a character in a story and their objective is to escape by completing the puzzles.
The second type is a non-narrative escape room, where students complete the puzzle to complete the game or be released at break etc.
In order to complete the puzzle, students have to, for example, match up quotes to who said it or organize the elements of the plot in the correct order. Usually, after doing that, students will get some kind of code made up of letters, numbers, or symbols that is the ‘key’ to finishing that task.
The benefit of using codes for correct answers is that it makes it easy for you as the teacher to check understanding. If students get the code wrong, they’ve got the wrong answer.
This makes escape rooms a great tool for review because they’re engaging and can be designed so that they’re easy for teachers to check for understanding and clarify misunderstandings on the spot.
Why use escape rooms?
Escape rooms are a fun way to review texts, but that is not the only benefit of using escape rooms to review. Other benefits include:
- There are many ways to set up an escape room and options for running the escape room can be varied depending on how much prep time you have, how much chaos you can tolerate, and how much interaction you want
- Students can work cooperatively
- Students are engaged and on-task
- Tasks include easier tasks and more difficult tasks so all students experience success
- It’s a way to easily check student knowledge
- They make it easy to identify content or ideas from the text that students haven’t understood
- You can clarify misunderstandings with students as they go or at the end of the game
- You can re-use the escape room, especially if you laminate the elements or put them in plastic sleeves
- Students don’t have to do a bunch of writing to review the text
- You can differentiate the tasks to make them more difficult or easier
- It has hands-on parts so it’s more engaging for some students
- You can make it a competition to increase participation or motivation
- It’s a fun Frankenstein lesson plan that your students are sure to remember
Who is this Frankenstein escape room for?
Frankenstein is usually studied in the higher levels of high school, often at some point in grades 10 through 12. This Frankenstein escape room is aimed at students in those year levels.
Frankenstein would be quite a high-level text, depending on how it’s taught. Because of this, the Frankenstein escape room is going to be for students who are quite high ability.
However, if you’re teaching Frankenstein to lower year levels, you can adjust the escape room by giving students more time or more hints while they’re working.
When can I use this escape room?
The best time to use this escape room is to use it at the end of the unit.
That’s because in order to understand or recall information, students need to have read the book. They also need to have done some learning and discussion around characters, themes, plot, quotes, figurative language, and have some close reading skills.
Students should also be able to identify important quotes and explain what they mean and how they relate to the themes in the novel.
Because of this, the best time to do this escape room is at the end of the unit reviewing for a test or reviewing before students have some kind of extended written response.
However, you might run out of time or energy to run it as a full escape room. Luckily, this Frankenstein teaching resource is versatile because you could choose to do each of the tasks as individual Frankenstein classroom activities after covering the related content.
For example, you might spend a lesson reviewing the plot of the novel and then get students to complete the plot task.
Why should you use an escape room to review Frankenstein?
First of all, it’s fun. Students generally love doing the puzzles. So, it’s a fun way to get students to review Frankenstein in a way that doesn’t involve studying notes or doing endless revision quizzes.
Another reason is that the Frankenstein escape room engages students. What would you rather do? Sit and write answers to a bunch of questions, or do a fun activity where you’re moving puzzle pieces around and you’re matching things up?
There’s also a tangible element to escape rooms, which is makes them more exciting than doing study and review questions.
Similarly, spatial awareness or movement can help students cement information in their brains. Just like you might use a seating plan at the start of the year to help you remember students’ names, students can use the physical placement of clues to help them remember information as they go into an exam or an extended written response.
Why else can you use an escape room to review Frankenstein?
This Frankenstein teaching resource is also extremely versatile and can be adapted to fit your purpose. A benefit of reviewing the novel using a Frankenstein escape room is that you can adapt it to your needs at the time.
Have a bit of extra prep time and want to interact with students while they complete the escape room?
You can run the escape room as a station activity that students move around the room to complete.
This option is high on excitement (and chaos!) because students are moving around the room. But it allows you to circulate around and help where needed. It also allows you to monitor for understanding. This option is also great if you want students to work together in pairs or teams.
Need to grade those essays, have no extra prep time, or want students to work independently?
You can run the room as a breakout box where students sit at their desks and work through all the tasks, showing you their answer sheet at the end. This option is a bit less exciting, but you have a reasonable amount of certainty that students will work independently and be on-task.
This option doesn’t allow for as much teacher interaction and is less chaotic because students are in their seats. But it’s harder to clarify where students have had misunderstandings.
It does have the huge benefit of keeping students on-task so you can complete other work.
Have a headache and don’t want interaction, but you want to check students’ understanding throughout?
You can run the Frankenstein escape room as a monitored breakout box where students sit at their desks, but they need to show you the right answer before receiving the next task.
This option allows you to check student understanding as they progress through the tasks. If they have the right code, they’ve gotten the right answers. If not, you can send them back to try again and know that they are checking their answers.
What does this Frankenstein escape room cover?
This Frankenstein escape room has a variety of tasks that cover topics including
- Arranging major plot points in correct order
- Matching character descriptions to characters
- Matching quotes to important themes in the novel
- Identifying figurative language in the novel
- Close reading skills
- An optional written reflection task that you could extend from a paragraph to a full written response
If you liked this post, you might also be interested in…
- 25+ easy and exciting lesson plans for Frankenstein with many more Frankenstein teaching resources and Frankenstein activities
- Frankenstein worksheets to accompany the Crash Course Literature videos about Frankenstein on YouTube (see here for the first video and here for the second)
- Our Frankenstein escape room