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Help your students review plot, character, conflict, character and vocabulary in the novel Hatchet by Gary Paulsen with this highly-engaging interactive escape room activity!



Students work in small groups and move about the classroom to five different stations to complete puzzles and activities that will help Brian escape and survive the Canadian wilderness. 

In the first station, students will help Brian survive the plane crash by ordering plot points according to the plot diagram to determine a numeric code. 

In the second station, students will help Brian find shelter by ordering character quotes to reveal a secret code word.

In the third station, students will help Brian start a fire by completing a multiple-choice analysis assignment about the novel to reveal a mystery word. 

In the fourth station, students will help Brian learn to fish by matching up new vocabulary words from examples in the novel to their proper definition (using context clues). Once students have matched them up correctly, it will reveal a mystery word. 

The final station has Brian find the transmitter and signal to be rescued by breaking an encryption based on hidden symbols they have to find throughout the game to reveal a quote from the novel! 

Please note that students will need to have completed the novel to complete this activity. They should also have an understanding of the following: plot diagram, conflict types, dynamic character, and point of view types.



• Detailed teacher instructions for setting up the room and facilitating the activity

• A classroom door sign to welcome students to the activity 

• Signs for each of the five stations 

• Story cards for each station that takes students through the process of Brian's escape/rescue from the Canadian wilderness (direct support/quotes from the text are provided) 

• Student instructions for each of the five stations

• All the materials students need for each station (envelope templates, plot cards, character cards, multiple-choice reading assignment, vocabulary puzzle, encryption assignment) 

• A student answer booklet where the group can record the codes and keys they find. 

• A teacher answer key you can use to check the work to determine the winner.

• Two reflection assignments to complete after the escape room. One is a reflection on the quote revealed in the final puzzle and the other is a reflection on the escape room activity.

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