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The road to the revolution

  • Game Designer: Michele Osinski
  • Content Area: History
  • Recommended Ages: Middle Grades
  • Ideal Group Size: Whole Class
  • Suggested Time:  45 minutes

Ms. Narcissus Richman, a “historian” who only loves artifacts for the money she can gain from selling them, is on the hunt for the Declaration of Independence. An angry Englishman who claims to be a descendant of King George III has offered her $5,000,000,000 (that’s $5 trillion!) for the document so that he can BURN it!

Ms. Richman has a friend who works at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. This is a special museum where the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and other important documents are on display for anyone to see. This so-called “friend” has promised to steal the document and turn it over to Ms. Richman for $1,000,000. He doesn’t want any more money than that because it would look too suspicious.

Another worker from the National Archives caught wind of this scheme and has locked it in our BreakoutEDU box in an attempt to hide it from Ms. Richman, but she’s on to him!

You and your classmates must break IN to the box, recover the Declaration of Independence and keep it safe from Ms. Richman. We will have the CIA and the FBI on call to arrest Ms. Richman when she appears at our school. We will be able to give the Declaration of Independence back to the National Archives so that everyone can continue to appreciate this important part of early United States history!

Your work will lead you to events which lead up to the American Revolutionary War. Each team will discover two of twelve events, and then all teams will work together on the final tasks to retrieve the key!
Your first clue will lead you to the name of one of the events and a combination to one of the boxes or bags. What is inside the box or bag will lead you to your second answer.

3-DIGIT LOCK = 3-1-6

4-DIGIT LOCK = 3-5-5-1




ADDITIONAL 3-DIGIT LOCK (Optional) = 6-1-3

I created 6 pathways or teams who solve two puzzles each and then complete a few tasks together to BreakIN.


(1) “Team Answer Strips” printed, cut, and ready to distribute. OCD person that I am, I put each answer strip in an envelope and labeled the envelope with team number.

(2) Common Sense has “316” written lightly, in pencil, on the right margin of pages 30 and 50. Other 3-digit numbers are also written (lightly, in pencil) as red herrings on other pages (randomly)

(3) Picture Book Paul Revere’s Ride has a sticker or writing on the last page:

“For your first answer, what occurred after this famous ride? To find the code for your lock: Longfellow’s poem describes Paul Revere riding into Concord. We know that this is ___ ___ ___ ___ ___?”

(4) Files need to be copied. They are in the “Files to Print for Students” folder.

(5) Prints of snowballs, clubs, oyster shells, judge placed in an envelope labeled “Team 5 Clue A”

(6) Print of Print of Washington/Soldiers/Continental (money)/ Map without Georgia. “halfdozenunluckynumber” is written somewhere on the back.

(7) Page of image of a document with numerous stamps (Stamp Act) on it.

(8) Twelve sheets of plain white 8.5” x 11” copy paper

(9) Crayons, colored pencils, markers available

(10) Goo.gl Form Link Puzzle (laminated?) prepared and in a baggie.

(11) Puzzle box with key for BreakoutEDU box.

(12) Copy of the Declaration of Independence locked in BreakoutEDU box.


(1) Small lock box set to 316 (Genesis scripture locked inside - you may want to provide a small Bible [Old Testament]), but students should  realize that they can Google-search the scripture).

(2) Locks APP set to  7YEAR; Location  of “Founding Fathers Matching Game” revealed. (Under Teacher's Desk -or your choice - or Teacher may give it to the students)

(3) 5-letter lock on small bag/box set to FALSE; goo.gl link to map of

Proclamation inside.

(4) Directional lock on small bag/box set to N/E/E/N/S (Up-Right-Right-Up-Down); Pigpen Code inside.

(5) 4-digit cable lock wrapped around small bag set to 3551; Grid Code folded inside.

(6) Small bag/box with small luggage lock set to 613; CryptoClub Code inside.

Phase I:

At the start, teams are given the following:

Team 1: Copy of Common Sense with print-out of “Team 1 Clue A” folded & placed inside as a bookmark (no text immediately showing); answer strip*

Team 2: Envelope: “Team 2 Clue A”; answer strip*

Team 3: Copy of picture book: Paul Revere’s Ride; answer strip

Team 4: Envelope: “Team 4 Clue A”; answer strip*

Team 5: Envelope: “Team 5 Clue A”; answer strip*

Team 6: LARGE envelope: Print of Washington/Soldiers/Continental (money)/ Map without Georgia; answer strip*


Wooden Puzzle Box (optional) Additional 3 DIGIT Lock LOCKS APP  

Wooden Puzzle Box (optional)

Additional 3 DIGIT Lock





Email info@breakoutedu.com if you have any questions. 


History, Declaration of Independence, National Archives, Revolution