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SEL Gingerbread Holiday Escape Guidance Lesson Kindness, Empathy, & I Messages

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If you are looking for a fun, HOLIDAY SEL ESCAPE ROOM lesson to teach KINDNESS and CARING COMMUNICATION, your students will be excited to team up to help the Gingerbread Buddies solve puzzles. While working in cooperative groups, teams will learn about being kind, and using compassion, empathy, & conflict-resolution skills to escape the cold, winter storm!


The Gingerbread Buddies are locked out of the gingerbread house and want to get warm after playing in the snow. The Gingerbread Boy said with a grin, β€œThat’s OK, we can still get in!” The code to the lock is all we need. If we work together, we will succeed!”


Help the gingerbread buddies learn the essential components to being kind through 5 different puzzles. Use the Gumdrop Decoder to solve puzzles about recognizing feelings and using β€œI” Statements. Sort situations and choose empathetic responses. Use the Gumdrop Grid to decode a tool useful for caring communication. As each puzzle is solved, the group earns a piece of Cookie Clothing while learning a valuable lesson. Once the group gingerbread cookie is fully dressed, students earn the Key to Kindness Completion Certificate, along with Kindness bookmarks and bracelets, and can create their own Kindness Calendar!


Ways to Use:

  • Use as a Kindness Lesson 45 to 60 minutes
  • Break into small group/lunch bunch meeting topics, one per week
  • Set up rotation stations, focusing on each of the puzzles
  • Use as a weeklong, daily activity, one puzzle per day
  • Share bookmarks with others as an act of kindness
  • Partner with other classes or grades for a collaborative escape room experience. Older students can assist younger ones, fostering mentorship, teamwork, and community
  • After completion, have students role-play scenarios related to kindness and gratitude, followed by reflective discussions
  • Focus on one letter per day of the THINK Poster. Discuss at the end who accomplished the goal of the day.


***This Escape Room Lesson does require some prep work of printing, cutting, and assembling the team puzzle packets, but it is well worth seeing your students working together to accomplish helping the Gingerbread Buddies escape the winter storm!!!


The lesson includes:

  • Detailed Lesson Plan with ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors - 3 pages
  • Step by Step Lesson Prep Directions - 2 pages
  • Student Introduction - 1 page
  • Gumdrop Decoder- 1 page
  • Puzzle 1: Recognizing Feelings - 6 pages
  • Puzzle 2: Compassion & Caring - 3 pages
  • Puzzle 3: Communicating Effectively - 4 pages
  • Puzzle 4: Caring Communication - 2 pages
  • Final Puzzle: Golden Rule – 1 page
  • Collectable Cookie Clothing Decorations – 4 pages
  • Key to Kindness Certificates – 1 page
  • THINK Poster - 1 page
  • Kindness Coloring Bookmarks & Bracelets - 3 pages
  • Acts of Kindness Calendar – 1 page
  • Envelope labels (if needed) - 1 page
  • Puzzle Solutions - 12 pages
  • PowerPoint Slideshow - 16 slides



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