Increase Kids Interest in Geography with an Escape Room

19 November

It's time for another escape room! So far, we have had a Music Themed Room, a Chemistry Themed Room, and an Art Themed Room; today's will be a United States Geography Escape Room!

Not all kids love Geography, but a simple little escape room is a sure way to increase their engagement. And any teacher knows increased engagement equals increased learning! This little escape room would be a great, hands-on, introduction to a unit on the states! 


Hands-on Way to Engage Kids in US Geography

I'll just go ahead and apologize for the low quality pictures; I forgot my camera this week, and had to use my phone, never a good plan.

Supplies for the U.S. Geography Escape Room

  • United States Fact Cards that include state birds and flowers (we used these)
  • United States Puzzle (This is the one I had, but I would have preferred something like this.)
  • American Flag
  • Small versions of Mt. Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty or pictures of them (we used the ones in this toob.)
  • 4-6x9 inch envelopes
  • Envelope to hold state puzzle pieces (we used a 6x9, but you may need larger)
  • Printables in our resource library

Setting Up the Rescue the Flag Escape Room

This room is one that must be followed in order, and that actually seemed to make it a little easier for the kids. I gave them 45 minutes, but they only used 30. So I would say this escape room would be a good one for the 8-10 year old range.

The challenge here was to follow a flag thief to his current location and recover a missing Betsy Ross flag. To start with the kids are provided with the instructions, a U.S. map, and hint needed cards. On a nearby table was the state puzzle in it's own envelope.

The kids needed to assemble the puzzle to find the missing state. My original plan had been to write a message on the puzzle, but as luck would have it, or maybe it was the fact that the puzzle has gone through 4 kids, we were missing the state of Arkansas. So that was the first state envelope they needed to find.

Assemble a puzzle with a missing piece as an escape room clue.

The Arkansas folder was hidden in the case of our fact cards. Inside the Arkansas envelope they found a clue leading them to a state with the same bird as well as a landmark representing it's own independence. 

Hidden in the escape room drawer, kids need to find these cards.


This clue led them to Texas if they looked through the flashcards to find the same bird and then noticed the information on the Alamo. This one we hid near an American Flag.

United States Geography Escape Room uses some national symbols as clues as well.

Inside the Texas folder they found a landmark matching activity. The state that didn't have a landmark that matched it was where they were headed next. I intended them to continue using the fact cards at this point if they were unfamiliar with the landmarks.

Kids must match the states and landmarks to find another escape room clue.

The landmark activity and the clue in the envelope led the kids to South Dakota, hidden near the Statue of Liberty (a welcoming monument as stated on the clue).

Lady Liberty is one of the clues kids need to escape the Geography room.

This envelope tells them to head to the home of the liberty bell, so they needed to find the envelope labeled with Pennsylvania. Inside this envelope is the missing flag, a map of Pennsylvania and a series of numbers. The kids need to recognize that the numbers are actually highways and follow them to a city. specifically Philadelphia. This is the location of the flag thief that they need to turn in. 

Their final answer to escape should be in this order Arkansas, Texas, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 

The kids were thrilled to escape. They were so excited that they didn't seem to mind being quizzed on state capitals for the remainder of the time! 



Head to the Resource Library to grab your Chemistry Escape Room Printables!

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Escape Rooms are great hands-on learning tools to increase student engagement and learning.


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