Introduction to the Harlem Renaissance Escape Room


Total Pages: 35
File Size: 3 MB


This Harlem Renaissance Escape Room is the perfect way to introduce your students to the era. It has a Great Migration Journal Entry Sort, Famous Figures Biography cards, a Prohibition Close Reading activity, and a secret poem. You can present this as a Breakout Box (groups work at their desks) or as an Escape Room (groups seek clues you’ve hidden in the classroom). It has been designed to take 40-50 minutes. This resource includes a complete Teacher’s Guide (set-up, printing checklist, differentiation), extension activities, and an Answer Key. (grades 7-12)

Perfect for ELA or Social Studies, in Black History Month or anytime of year.

What You Get:
1. Four core tasks with instructions and clues
**The Great Migration Journal Entries
**Close Reading: The Prohibition & The Cotton Club (two levels of difficulty)
**Harlem Renaissance Personalities bio cards & quiz
**Secret Poem
2. Writing extensions (either analytical or personal responses)
3. Station Cards
4. “Band’s On Break” cards (for optional increased difficulty)
5. Student Answer Sheets
6. A full Teacher’s Guide with set-up options, a printing checklist, and an Answer Key
7. A poster for your door. 😉

Download the preview for more information!

Early praise for this resource:
“This is a highly engaging, detailed lesson on the Harlem Renaissance. It provides students with an overview on many different aspects of the era, covering historical background as well as specific artists. Students will definitely enjoy the variety of puzzles and tasks.” – Samantha H.

“A culturally-sensitive resource that avoids some of the ‘rosy’ accounts of the era.” -Gambria L., 10th grade teacher

“This creative and engaging resource provides a historical foundation for students that not only sheds light on the great names of the Harlem Renaissance, but also opens up a door to discuss race in America.” -Paige H., 10th & 11th grade teacher

A Word About Timing:
This resource has wide appeal and placement in curricula, so it’s up to you how long to spend on the activity. With 9th graders in a regular class, I’d plan on 40-50 minutes. I had a 7th grade and 10th grade teacher test it, and they both said they would have been better off splitting it into two class periods (leaving the Secret Poem and the Extensions for Day 2). There is a lot of reading in this Escape Room, so it really depends on what fits your classroom. As with any Escape Room activity, I recommend that you play through it on your own first before presenting it to your students.

About Your Resource:
Your download is a .zip file containing a .pdf of the Escape Room and a .ppt of the extension activities. You can edit extension activities in the .ppt file for maximum flexibility and differentiation for your classroom. If you don’t need to edit, you can use the .pdf and “print and go!” Feel free to email me at if you have any questions. 🙂

Since your students looove puzzles, take a look at my Team Trivia Bellringers!

Want to get answers or share success stories? Join us on Facebook to discuss Escape Rooms in ELA. We’re waiting for you. 😉 If you’re ready to make (and sell!) your own fabulous escape rooms, check out this Escape Room Template Kit. Happy creating!

If you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you!
-Danielle @ Nouvelle ELA
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