Escape the Art Room!
Today is the first day of school at PSU, aka- Syllabus Day. I could not go through that syllabus one more time, so I didn’t. Maybe some of this rebellion comes from my ten years of teaching college students, but how many times can you hear yourself say “absence policy?”
My family and I went to an escape room over Thanksgiving and had a wonderful time. We even escaped with 6 minutes to spare. I take no credit for that escape; I have brilliant family members. Since that time, I have been musing how to create an escape room for my students. It didn’t turn out exactly how I envisioned, but they were working together and running all over the building instead of looking at me with glazed eyes, or the “donut look” as I like to call it. In that aspect......Mission Accomplished!
I found tons of ideas on Pinterest and from some of my favorite blogs, like cassiestephens.blogspot.com. I divided the class up into five groups by having them select colored paper out of a basket. They then had to move to find their group and sit at the table with the same colored basket. A Mondrian inspired puzzle was there waiting for them, which lead them to a matching poster around my classroom. On the back of the poster, I had an envelope with a hieroglyphic code and a location for them to find. One location leads to another location until they had found the art office, the gallery, the bathrooms, vending machines, and water fountains. Then the group returned to the classroom to answer questions about the late policy and office hours conveniently located in the online syllabus, and then some classroom procedures- such as, where to put wet artwork. (Hint- it’s on the drying rack)
I had a gloriously relaxing evening painting the game pieces with liquid watercolors and felt honored that a few students wanted to take their "game pieces" with them. I also feel strong about the fact that I am modeling teaching strategies for my students and hopefully they will remember these funny moments from Art Education and repeat them in their classrooms.
I teach future art teachers at Emporia State University. Here is what is going on in my classes.