Implementation of “Mysterious Disappearance Escape Room” (SOI-HR-496)

The learning scenario “Mysterious Disappearance Escape Room” by Alma Suto was used as a starting point. The implementation lasted for two 45-minute lessons and was implemented with 15-years old.

The aim of the learning scenario was to motivate students to utilize information and communication technology in solving tasks and make logical conclusion.

Also, the important thing here was the development of ecological awareness.

Materials needed included a metal box with lock and key, pen, tape, scissors, envelopes, fan, half a lemon, container with lemon juice, ear sticks, knife, ginkgo sprig, written materials and instructions, arrows in two colours.

Figure 1. Material needed


The subject teacher introduced Europeana to the students and the benefits it offers to users.

Figure 2. Working with Europeana resources

The students were divided into groups of five. One group was called TYPING MASTERS. The other group was called FAST FINGERS. Each group of students was given its own puzzles to find some clues, which lead to the final solution.

Topic: Exploring the Connection Between the Digital World and the Physical World, Learning How Small Steps are Important in Preserving the Environment. Age Group: 9th Grade (Administrative Clerk). This escape room combined fun with education and GBL (game based learning) – gamification. It was a time of fun but also learning. Regarding planning and preparation, I can say it was big task and many hours are spent but it was worth the effort and time.

Main text

1.The narrative (Learning process/Stages of implementation)

The subject teacher entered the classroom, closed the door, came to the teacher’s desk and greeted the students, announcing the goal of the escape room: to save planet Earth using their typing skills and solving various ecological challenges.  The sound of “Earth song” performed by Michael Jackson played after pressing the PLAY button.

 Detailed instructions followed for the students about what to expect during the lesson, emphasizing to the students that they needed to carefully observe in order to spot clues, thoroughly explore the space to find what they were looking for. Hidden in the classroom were objects, messages, sign spots, etc. Solving tasks revealed clues that indicated where to look next. The last task was the culmination of the game – its solutions was the exit from the escape room. I came up with 8 tasks for each group.

Within each group of 5 students, specific roles were assigned including minute taker, scheduling coordinator, group manager and two operatives.

First task – a race against time

Students in both groups took a text that was in English and referred to the World Environment Day, which is celebrated on June 5 th every year and typed it as quickly and accurately as they could. In this way, a correlation with the English language was realized. Only when the last student wrote the text could the group move on the next task by following the clues. The group followed the colored arrows on the wall that directed them to the next task.

Second task – secret code

The instructions for this task were in the envelope and after opening it and reading the instructions, the students started deciphering the code. After deciphering the code, the scheduling coordinator entered the time and the minute taker, upon completion of the task recorded it in the records and wrote the solution.

The third task – a crossword puzzle

The arrows led to the third task. The instruction said the following: “I am small and colorful. I love the south. Green hides me”. Students were to find the colorful box behind the jar with houseplants. In the box there was a crossword puzzle with terms. When they solved the crossword, the students received a term which the minute taker recorded. (Crossword puzzle solution: ECOKEYS).


The fourth task – a message written in lemon juice

The arrows pointed the students to the next envelope, which contained the instruction: “The message is important and I am not fake. I am written in lemon juice, and you will read me with your sharp eye. Blow dry me and get rid of it in no time. You will find me in a high place and rejoice in the text”. After successfully solving the task, the minute taker recorded the term.

Figure 3. Students blow dry the paper and read the message written in lemon juice

Fifth task – anagram

The arrows led the students to the problem number five which was an anagram. The envelope contained instructions that the group manager read and the student acted according to the instructions. After solving, the term SKILL obtained was written down and recorded.

Sixth task – cinquina

Arrows led students to task number six which was cinquina. Cinquina is a traditional Italian folk song that consists of 5 verses and is written according to the established form.

In the envelope was an instruction that the group manager read: “You need verses for this task and they are lurking by the banana tree. Find the hidden instruction and find your way in the verses”.

Figure 4. The students looked for the envelope by the banana tree

Seventh task – encrypted text

The arrows pointed the students to the next envelope which contained the instruction: “The table hides a secret, the code is laughing under it. Find the instruction and read it easily, everyone will be interested in it. You need a textbook for it when you solve it you will be very happy.” (with the help of the text in the textbook and the code, deciphered the term – the letters referred to English terms, for example W-word) 185PAG19R3W  Solution: typing – writing.

 Eight task – Caesar’s code

Students followed the arrows and reached the eighth task which was special. The following text was written in the envelope: “I have been declared the European Tree of the Year 2020. I am in love and green. I’m hidden in the hallway among my green brothers and sisters. Find me and near me you will find a task that you need to solve.” Using Caesar’s code, students deciphered the given word and term that is related to computer typing. (Solution: precision).

After the students entered the ECOKEYBOARD solution (without spaces) in the presentation, the keyboard and message were shown to them, which concluded the game for the students.

“Congratulations! You have successfully saved planet Earth. You have become eco heroes!”


This lesson was successful and the lesson objectives were met. When we had the final summative evaluation, the students rated this Escape Room as excellent and they liked the message written in lemon juice the most.

2. Outcomes (for you as an educator and for the students)

Outcomes for students included:

ACTIVE LEARNING – students were actively engaged in the learning process because they actively participated in solving tasks.

TEAMWORK – Escape Room encouraged collaboration among students, which improved teamwork and mutual trust.

DEVELOPING CRITICAL THINKING – students needed to apply their critical thinking skills to decipher puzzles and find solutions.

PROBLEM SOLVING – students encountered various challenges that encouraged them to developed problem solving skills.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION – students faced different texts, tasks and simulated situations in which they applied their typing skills.

For me as a teacher, this was a fun activity, just as much as it was for them. It was a pleasure to see the results of their work. I encouraged students to reflect on the importance of sustainable development and their role in environmental protection through activities within the Escape Room. The Europeana platform, to me as a teacher, offered opportunities beyond the domain of my vocational expertise, as was evidenced in this example, and it wasn’t the only one. That was why I considered Europeana resources a great assistant in my work. I was grateful  that I always find new ideas on the Europeana platform to enrich my teaching process.

Link to the learning scenario implemented: Mysterious Disappearance Escape Room (LS-HR-261) – Teaching With Europeana (

Do you want to discover more stories of implementation? Click here.

CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Finnish Heritage Agency.

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