In the first quarter this year, ninth graders were getting ready to read a novel in Mr.
Moser’s English class: Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella. However, this was going to require
some background knowledge about the fixing of the 1919 World Series by the so-called Black
Sox of Chicago. Rather than read an article or watch a video about this historical event, the
ninth graders instead completed a Breakout Box game.
A Breakout Box is a collaborative project where students work together to solve
puzzles, find information, apply it, and ultimately unlock a series of locks to reveal a prize. It
requires teamwork, outside-the-box thinking, and a great deal of patience. Throughout this
breakout game, ninth graders pored over photos, statistics, first-hand accounts, and word
puzzles to gradually uncover more knowledge and unlock more boxes.
By the time
everything was done --
with just 10 seconds left
to spare on the timer --
the final box was
unlocked, and the class
won their prizes:
baseball cookies and a
better understanding of
the Black Sox Scandal.