Brrr! I’m not sure how the weather is where you live, but it sure is getting cold outside here! My favorite way to warm up on a cold winter day is with a steamy cup of hot chocolate. Every year, I love to host a hot chocolate party in my classroom during the holiday season. Before enjoying our delicious winter drinks, I introduce these hot chocolate party winter centers. The students will complete math and literacy challenges to receive clues and solve “The Case of the Cocoa Caper” winter escape room!
Winter Escape Room
The Case of the Cocoa Caper escape room is a great way for students to practice math and literacy skills independently!
Before students sip their hot cocoa from their snowman face mugs, set the stage with a note from the hot chocolate stand worker.
As we sat down,
For a cozy treat,
We discovered something,
Not so sweet.
The cocoa was missing.
It all disappeared.
Who could have taken it?
A critter we feared.
Complete each challenge,
To receive a clue.
Read each one,
And find out who!
Once the stage is set, it is time to create the students’ case files. These files can be assembled using either file folders or a large sheet of construction paper folded in half.
Staple the “Suspect Elimination” sheet inside the folder, as students are coloring the front cover. Then, they can glue the covers to the outside of the folder.
Similar to an actual detective, these case files will contain all of their finished hot chocolate party activities and detective work!
Winters Centers Set Up
Prep is quick and easy! Simply place each challenge inside a manila envelope. Don’t have manila envelopes? No problem! Use a bin or tub to set up each activity instead.
This is also a great alternative if you are looking to drop the mystery aspect and just want to use these as regular math and literacy centers.
To unravel the mystery, the students must complete six or eight different math and literacy centers.
Upon completing each challenge, they will receive a clue from the culprit. With each challenge, one suspect will be eliminated from consideration.
After finishing all of the challenges, only one suspect will remain and the case will be solved! This would be a fun time to enjoy a tasty cup of hot cocoa, since the kiddos did, after all, find the missing cocoa!
Winter Centers for Literacy
Want a quick look at what literacy skills students will practice? Here is a sneak peek at the literacy challenges.
At the “Earmuff Challenge,” the students will build the earmuffs by matching the pictures that rhyme.
To solve the “Mitten Challenge,” they will segment the CVC word and match the mittens.
As they complete the “Snowball Challenge,” the students will stretch out the word and identify the missing middle sound.
The final literacy challenge, the “Hot Cocoa Challenge,” involves students reading each word. Then, building the word with the marshmallow letters.
Winter Centers for Math
Certainly, let’s not overlook my favorite subject! Take a glimpse at the math activities!
At the “Penguin Challenge,” the students will find the missing part for each number bond.
The students will count the snowflakes and identify the number before and after, during the “Snowflake Challenge.”
To review nonstandard measurement, the students will measure each polar bear using the snowflake ruler at the “Polar Bear Challenge.”
Last but not least, students will count the snowmen, cover the melting snowmen, and write the number sentence at the “Snowman Challenge.”
The Case of the Cocoa Caper Winter Centers Escape Room
More Holiday Activities
If your little detectives loved this escape room, they are sure to love these Gingerbread Man centers as well!
Celebrate the holidays with these Christmas party ideas for the classroom!
Don’t forget to check out this super easy snowman slime recipe!
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