Break out of the norm: Free OneNote breakout templates

Onenote breakout, will you escape in time.

Let the fun begin!

Who doesn’t love a fun escape room? They have been the latest buzz not only in the entertainment arena but also in the education technology world. A OneNote breakout is a free virtual escape room in which students interact with a story adventure to solve puzzles and think critically to escape.

How it works

  1. A OneNote is built with various challenges for students to complete. Each challenge is locked in a OneNote page.
  2. Students work together in groups or pairs to complete the challenges.
  3. With each successful challenge completion, students will receive a password to unlock the next challenge.
  4. Students race against the clock and each other to “break out” of the escape room first!
The Lava Challenge

Why should I use OneNote breakouts with my students?

With breakouts, students collaborate to solve relative problems in a gaming environment. As the teacher, you have the opportunity to design breakouts that connect to your curriculum. These lessons provide engagement, problem solving, critical thinking, risk taking, communication, and collaboration in addition to an element of fun and competition, if you choose. Breakout lessons are ideal for beginning-of-the-year team building activities, holiday activities, a cumulative review of concepts, test review, pre-assessment, or even end-of-the-year projects. A few other perks:

  1. Easy setup (no physical locks or boxes)
  2. Focus is on the lesson content and not just the lock puzzles
  3. Can be amended very quickly by the teacher, if needed
  4. Easily accessible for small groups or individuals
  5. Built-in accessibility tools
  6. Students do not need an account
  7. Can be shared easily with a link or QR code

Students find OneNote breakouts to be a fun and immersive learning experience. Many teachers have shared that their students love this new way of learning, including some who even ask to skip recess to stay and finish the lesson.

How to get started

We recently created a OneNote breakout resource page that will allow you to explore three different types of breakout activities: an Elementary breakout, a Secondary breakout, and a OneNote professional development breakout. You can customize each breakout template with content specific to your learning goals. Each lesson provides you with an adventure storyline to bring an engaging, collaborative, and fun experience to your classroom.

  • Elementary breakout: In this OneNote breakout, you have the ability to customize your student’s learning adventure as they help Steve from Minecraft save his home from spiders. With each challenge the students complete, they will gain an element needed to craft a diamond sword to defeat the spiders surrounding his home.
Breakout template save steve
  • Secondary breakout: Add an element of gaming and suspense to your lessons with a OneNote breakout. In this secondary OneNote breakout example, the year is 1837 and your students are United States spies headed to London to discover how Great Britain is producing goods. Their mission is to gather information about the Industrial Revolution and bring it back to the U.S. without getting caught.
Breakout template industrial revolution spy
  • How to create a OneNote breakout: Learn how to create a OneNote breakout with this self-paced interactive experience. Let the adventure begin and let your creativity start flowing as you tailor your learning outcomes into your very own engaging breakout activity. Find out how to get started and how to add different gaming elements, a theme, and more to your breakout lessons. 
how to create a onenote breakout

And that’s not all!

We have even provided you with Make It Mine links so that you can start your lessons from the provided templates. You can find these lessons along with brief descriptions in the Microsoft Educator Center.

Sharpen your OneNote skills with the resources found below

Do you want to learn more about OneNote? Are you curious how to use OneNote in addition to creating breakout activities? There are so many additional resources available to help you get started.

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