Two Rooms and an Open Source Template Tuesday

It’s Open Source Template Tuesday! Watch an off-the-shelf game go BOOM!


Hi! If you’re new to the blog, welcome! I’m John. And I’m the author of EDrenaline Rush: Game-Changing Student Engagement Inspired by Theme Parks, Mud Runs, and Escape Rooms, a new book from Dave Burgess Consulting. I am RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED to share it with the world! And I truly believe that enthusiasm is infectious — so I love sharing lesson plans, classroom activity walkthroughs, and open source slideshow templates on this site whenever I get the chance.

Because great pedagogy isn’t relegated to any particular subject area. And we don’t teach content. We teach people.

I have a bunch of templates available on this site, and I wholeheartedly encourage you to adapt them to suit the unique needs of your classroom! Regardless of age, content area, or skill level — it is my sincere belief that, in the hands of a great teacher (that’s YOU!), a creative teaching tool or technique can be a total game-changer for any classroom.

So here’s where you come in!

Each week here on the blog, we celebrate OPEN SOURCE TEMPLATE TUESDAY in an effort to help readers get a clearer sense of how adapting shared templates from this site can be super helpful in saving teachers time, effort, and frustration.

Here’s how it works:

    1. For each OPEN SOURCE TEMPLATE TUESDAY, I’ll feature a guest blog from a fellow teacher who’s adapted one of the resources available on this site and used it to change the game in their classroom! I’ll also post an original copy of the template that inspired their lesson so you can see its life cycle in action.
    2. We’ll also feature a guest blog entry from the teacher who adapted each template in their classroom. This is their chance to talk about the tweaks, adjustments, and modifications that they decided to make to the original resource in order to help it be a neater fit in their classroom. It might also help inspire you to take their template (or the original) for a spin in your school! Click any of the links below or check out their Twitter handle to connect further!
    3. In the spirit of OPEN SOURCE TEMPLATES, everything that you’ll see in one of these guest blogs is designed to be shared, customized, and adapted for use in your classroom! Steel sharpens steel, right? And by paying it forward to fellow educators around the globe, the rising tide of #EDrenaline can truly lift all ships — inspiring untold ripple effects of teacher creativity and student engagement around the globe.



The Original Resource:
Two Rooms and a Boom

Today’s Guest Blogger: Me! (And Jason Howse)

Here’s the scoop…

So last week, I posted a Five Minute Friday Game Break in which I reviewed Two Rooms and A Boom. If you’ve never seen the game in action, it’s basically a giant competition of “do you know that I know that you know,” which makes it a whole bunch of fun — especially when you’ve got large groups of excited players looking to join in the action.  Ethos! Pathos! Logos! And a whole boatload of misdirection and mischief along the way. The only problem? The default game is themed with a pretty non-school-appropriate story line. Here’s the official game description from Amazon:

“Stop your President from being blown up! But who is the President? More importantly… Who is the Bomber?! In this social game of hidden roles and deduction, players are divided into 2 different rooms. Find your teammates, establish trust, and exchange hostages before time runs out and the bomb explodes! It’s the party game that’s always a blast.”

Yeah. Suicide bombers and countdown timers to secret explosions? Not exactly the sort of thing I’d feel comfortable rolling out with a room full of students. So I nixed the whole “blow up the President” angle and instead used the default game rules to create a more school-friendly team vs. team scenario.


With a quick bit of Google Slides magic, student teams are now competing to save the American Revolution amid the spirited backdrop of the notorious Benedict Arnold! Same gameplay as the original, but WAY more appropriate for a school-based setting. You can easily adapt the same activity for a world language classroom (Think “Two Rooms et Tu Brutus?!”). The possibilities are really as wide open as your imagination. And with a flashy space-inspired coat of paint, my good Twitter pal Jason Howse used my activity template to whip up a Star Wars inspired variation of the same game!

Full game rules available here (works for any variant)

Two Teams and a Turncoat

Star Wars Turncoat Game

Author: John

John Meehan (@MeehanEDU) is an English teacher and school instructional coach at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia. He began his teaching career in 2010 as a career switcher through The New Teacher Project, after spending five years working in social media and event marketing. He is a 2017 ASCD Emerging Leader, and an alumnus of the 2016-2018 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Advisory Council. In 2016, he was named one of Arlington, Virginia’s “40 Under 40” by the Leadership Center for Excellence. He is a past presenter and regular attendee at educational conferences throughout the United States, including the annual conference for National Catholic Education Association, ASCD Empower19, and the Play Like a Champion Today: Character Education Through Sports summer conference at the University of Notre Dame. He’s an avid runner who’s completed more than three dozen marathons, half marathons, long-distance road relays, mud runs, and obstacle course races. John lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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