BreakoutEDU, Kindergarten Style!

This fall several of our teachers participated in The Global Read Aloud, working with classrooms across the United States to read the same books and share our thoughts and ideas about them.  One such partnership was with Ms. Cain, a librarian in North Dakota who is working with one of our kindergarten teachers, Ms. Thomsen.  Our collaboration takes places mainly through Seesaw where we share pictures and thoughts on the books we have read during this project.

Ms. Cain suggested doing a BreakoutEDU activity that was created specifically around our Global Read Aloud author study. BreakoutEDU with kindergarten?!  I had only done this with adults (and Ms. Thomsen had never even heard about it)!  Luckily, I had recently purchased a kit which made this the perfect opportunity to dive right in with students.

While the instructions for We Are Readers were well done and thorough I still modified some to make the activity run smoother for our little learners.  Following are the accommodations and lessons learned.


  • We decided to place the students in groups, and give each group a puzzle to focus on.  Since this was their first experience with an activity like this we thought it would help the students focus more and make sure everyone was engaged and had a role to play.
  • One of the puzzles involved students reading a narrative about travel and determining which direction the traveler went.  As students new to kindergarten there weren't many in early November that could master the paragraph so I made a recording and had an iPad available nearby with a QR code linking to the audio.  I also created a mat with 4 arrows so that they could easily manipulate each arrow as the traveler moved instead of having to memorize 4 sets of directions in sequential order.

  • The word lock involved the students solving a puzzle and then guessing the word the puzzle represented.  Again, to make this easier for our first time we decided to create a word list for the students to choose from.  One note:  the word list is in lowercase letters whereas the lock has all capital letters.  This made it difficult for some of the students to read and will be something we will make sure we address the next time.


We introduced the activity, each lock and the puzzle that accompanied it.  We talked about working together, persevering and how we would guide them but not give them answers.  In all, the students broke out in a matter of 25 minutes!  The activity was highly engaging and successful.  It was a wonderful way to wrap up our author series.



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