As the students entered the art room, I had one kid stand at the door and pass out these small slips of paper. There were 7 different colors with about 5 of each. This year I average about 32 third and fourth graders per class so I needed to make sure I had enough for everyone. Once seated on the floor, I started this video:
Just before I let them have at it, I read them the wee rules of the game...
Now, if you're worried that the kids will get a lil to wild playing this game, I found a sure-fire trick: Tell them there are SPIES watching. I fibbed to the kids and told them that before class had started, I had pulled aside a couple of kids to be my spies. Their job was to listen and share the secrets they overheard with other teams. Oh my goodness, y'all. Those fourth graders took that so seriously it was bananaz! My only other rule was no running...I have a big room and there was A LOT of excitement. But we can't be running in the art room, y'all.
Once I gave them the go-ahead, the kids immediately teamed up and went to their coordinating table. There they found this:To make things easy for myself, I made all the puzzles identical. Some kids figured out that they were just to look for the yellow heart...but my rule was that all puzzles had to be solved before moving on to the next. My favorite was when one team said, "our puzzle is too hard!"...and I'm all, "Dudes. They are all the same."
Once the puzzles were solved, the kids went in search of their heart. I made sure to hide these pretty well so it was a bit like an Easter egg hunt.
Once they found their box, the kids discovered the following inside:A dry erase board and marker, a decoder and a code to solve. Each of the seven boxes contained riddles which revealed the class rules. They were to solve the riddle and return to our spot on the floor with their dry erase board.
Just in case you'd like to use the code feel free! The Rockin' Riddle Rules the kids solved here: have fun, be respectful, follow directions, raise your hand, take pride and be nice.
They were highly engaged, that's for sure! Once everyone had their rules, I played the next clip in the video where I chat about each rule. Then we were on to a self-guided room tour complete with a back-stage pass.
(Yes, we refer to the place to put our dirty paint brushes as a "hot tub". Don't judge.)
I tried to think of the places in my art room where the kids would visit the most. I also came up with fun clues to help them find those places. I had specific dry erase marker colors in each spot so they couldn't just write the answers in. Also, I had them go to the places on their pass in the order listed so we wouldn't have any traffic jams.
A peek at how I labeled the places and placed the markers.
Where we play the Smartest Artist game.
After the passes were full, we met again on the floor. In the next part of the video, I take them on a tour explaining the different places in the art room and emergency procedures.
The final phase of the game was a "solo mission". Each artist was given three Post-It's and a Sharpie. They could pick from any of the six questions on my board to answer in a complete sentence. Once finished, they returned to the floor where we played a quick round of Smartest Artist before heading out the door.
This was only after a couple of classes had a chance to write. I can't wait to see these filled up! I plan to hang them around the school for our Open House Night.
Because my focus is Peace, Love and Kindess this year, this is an important question for my kids.
Their responses let me know that they KNOW the answer...we just gotta make it happen.
Thank you for allowing me to share this super fun way to kick off the school year! Feel free to steal any ideas you see here. I'd LOVE to know if you do this kind of thing with your students. The kids told me that they are excited to play this kind of game again...which can only mean that this will be a new and fun way to introduce new concepts to the kids. An Elements of Art Escape Game, anyone?! YES, PLEASE!