Boom cards are a great interactive digital tool that students can use for vocabulary practice on the go. The Boom card technology can also be used to make digital games that students can play to practice skills and review content. One kind of game that Boom cards can be used to create is a digital escape room. Here’s how to create Boom card escape rooms for your students.
How do Boom Card Escape Rooms work?
Boom Card escape rooms allow students to click on parts of the screen to find clues and solve puzzles. The versatility of Boom Cards means that there are so many ways to do this. Look at this video of a rock cycle Boom Card escape room.
There are fill in the blank puzzles, drag and drop puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, multiple choice, diagram labeling, and matching puzzles. Your middle students will be so engaged with a Boom Card escape room that they’ll forget they’re having fun!
Steps to creating a Boom Card Escape Room
Step 1: Content. The first thing you need to do before you create an escape room of any type is decide what content you want to review in this activity. Jot down the vocabulary words you want students to know, sample questions you want them to be able to answer, or pictures you want students to be able to label.
Let’s do an example together. I’m going to create an escape room about the moon, so some of the things I want students to be able to do is to name the phases of the moon in order and identify solar and lunar eclipses.
Step 2: Sketch out the puzzles. Once you know what you’re going to have students practicing in your Boom Card escape room, you need to design a few puzzles that will help them practice that content.
Here’s another walk through of a Boom Card escape activity to give you some ideas.
The puzzles I’m going to use in this moon escape room are:
- jigsaw puzzle – diagram of a solar eclipse
- drag and drop – diagram of a lunar eclipse
- matching – how phases are created
- fill in the blanks – phases in order
- multiple choice – images of phases matched to name of phase
Step 3: Plan the story line. A story line, while not technically necessary, does serve to engage learners and builds excitement. Story lines can be as complex or as simple as you want but are more fun for kids if there’s some danger they must escape. For the moon escape room I’m writing, I’m going to have 3 astronauts in a capsule heading toward the moon. They need the launch code to land correctly.
Step 4: Plan the triggers. In an escape room, a trigger is an answer students must get correct in order to either get a clue or advance to the next step. For example, when students correctly label the parts of a lunar eclipse, they will receive a clue and when students correctly fill in the blanks with the phases of the moon, they will get another clue.
Step 5: Create a slideshow. There might be an easier way, but I haven’t found it yet. I create a slide show that is 7×5 inches (the size of a Boom Card deck) and I use that to plan out my images and puzzle pieces. This is by far the longest and hardest part of creating a Boom Card escape room. Slideshows for a 20 minute escape room might be as long as 40-50 slides and often take me days to complete. moon boom card escape room I created for the Moon escape room. You’ll notice that it doesn’t have any links or solutions – it’s just the images that I will turn into puzzles and clues in the next step.
Step 6: Upload to BoomLearning. BoomLearning.com is the site where I host my Boom escape rooms. A few pointers:
- In the “Details” tab, be sure to select “FlowMagic.” This allows you to determine the path your students will take through the cards and forces them to get the correct answers before they move on.
- Upload each of your slides from your slideshow to BoomLearning. Add empty text boxes for clickable places on the slide and use the “Link To” button under “Answer options” to set up the path for your students. Be sure to choose “Conditional Link” to make sure that students need to have chosen the correct answer in order to move on.
- Be sure to include “Go back” options and “Exit” options to allow students to redo part of the escape room or to quit if they are stuck.
Once your escape room is uploaded to BoomLearning, share it with your students is as simple as generating a URL (BoomLearning calls this a “Fast Pin”) and sharing it with students.
Here is a walkthrough of the final product of my moon phases and eclipses escape room:
Check out all of my Boom Card escape rooms here:
Use my referral link to sign up for Boom cards and save 10%!