New Holiday Code Crackers | Whole Class Activity


Written by Natalie

Whole class activities and challenging code crackers are trending in classrooms right now. Discover how you and your students can have fun cracking codes, develop higher-order thinking, and a whole lot more! Due to popular demand, we have created a collection of Holiday Code Crackers perfect for Christmas.

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Which year levels can enjoy these whole class games? All of them! We have created a Holiday Code Cracker for lower, middle, and upper years! Each whole class activity has the same structure, but has been carefully differentiated for kids of all ages!

 In this blog, I’m going to focus on the Holiday Code Cracker: Middle Years – Whole Class Game. Stay with me to find out more…

Six Fabulous Mysteries to Solve!

The Holiday Code Cracker: Middle Years – Whole Class Game includes an introductory poem, 6 puzzle activities, and a final riddle. Students work in groups to solve each puzzle in order to reveal 6 numerals. Next, students combine the numerals and work out their order to open a combination lock.

whole class game starting with an introductory riddle.

Take a look at the first puzzle – the Christmas Tree Wheel! What is the mystery numeral?


Other activities include:

  • Rudolph’s Present Predicament
  • Trifle Tower
  • Cryptic Chatterbox
  • Vacation Treasure Hunt
  • Party Light Chaos
  • Holiday Hooray! Final Riddle

Teaching and Learning Focus

Code Crackers are topping the charts because they are exciting, engaging, and develop a diverse range of skills. While your students are in a world of excitement and fun, they will be developing critical and creative skills and a host of other essential life skills like untangling Christmas lights!

task cards and mysterious puzzles to solve.

For example, your students will develop skills in:

  • critical and creative thinking
  • collaboration
  • speaking and listening
  • problem-solving
  • reading comprehension
  • mathematics.

Code Crackers Made Easy!

I know what you are thinking…this all sounds like hard work. But, fear not. We know how time poor you are. So, to make your life easier, we’ve included teacher instructions, activity answers, activity templates, and task cards!

whole class game with teacher instructions and answers!

As you can see, code crackers are perfect to use as a whole class game where students work in six small groups. So ideally, each group will rotate around the six activities and have a go at all of them. Don’t forget to use the Teacher Information Sheet as a step-by-step guide and follow these top tips:

  1. Arrange your students into 6 mixed ability groups and set up your 6 stations.
  2. Set the combination locks, with one set to 295 and one to 473.
  3. As a class read the Season’s Greetings Introductory Poem to the students and ask if they have any questions.
  4. Monitor and support your students as they complete their puzzle. Undo any misconceptions along the way.
  5. Once a group has completed all six puzzles, check the numbers before reading the Holiday Hooray! Final Riddle.
  6. Use the final riddle to work out the correct order of the numerals to crack the code (refer to the answers on the Teacher Information Sheet).

Escape Room – Whole Class Game

To set up an escape room style whole class game, why not hide a class reward in a lockable box. Need some ideas of what to put into the box?

solve the final riddle and crack the code to find a class award!

When it comes to what to put into the lockable box, sweets might be an obvious choice. But, what about awarding your class with an hour of personal choice or a pizza party!

Can your students crack the code?

Download Holiday Code Cracker: Middle Years – Whole Class Game now and find out!

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