A Friend For Keyla

Challenge students to work together to solve puzzles in this digital breakout room!
Ages 8-10 / 45
min Activity


  • Work with their classmates to solve puzzles and unlock different levels of a digital breakout room
  • Practice cooperative skills, such as assigning everyone a different task, encouraging others to play an active role, and celebrating collective victories
  • Use their creativity to extend the game, such as designing their own puzzle, depicting a favorite moment in comic book format, or creating a movie poster for the game

Supporting Research

Researchers have found that successful group work in the classroom requires that students engage constructively with each other’s ideas, encourage everyone to play an active role in the problem-solving process, and practice prosocial behavior such as treating others with respect. Through this activity, students will foster skills around diplomacy and kindness as they navigate different ideas, emotions, and perspectives within their groups, and show curiosity and respect towards each other.

To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.


  • A mobile device, tablet, or computer with internet access (for each group of 4-5 students)

Activity Partners


  1. Introduce the game to your students. You might say: “Today, we’re going to play a game called 'A Friend For Keyla', which is about Keyla and her new friend, Neila. Although they come from different worlds, they also share many interests in common - like reading, playing hopscotch, sending secret messages, and learning about science! Keyla and Neila created a game that is made up of different puzzles, and in order to solve them, we’ll have to analyze clues in order to figure out the combination that will unlock each level. In order to be successful, we’ll have to work together and listen to each other’s ideas.”
  2. Divide up your class into groups of 4-5 students, which will allow all students to play an active role in solving the puzzles, and share this game link with each group. Each group should have access to a mobile device, tablet, or computer with internet access. 

    Students should work with their group members to gather clues, come up with possible solutions, and figure out the right combination to unlock the puzzle. Each group should choose one student to be the “Lockstar”, who will display the game on their screen and be responsible for entering the combinations as directed by their team.

    Students might also assign different roles in their group, such as the "Recorder" who is responsible for writing down all the combinations they have already tried, or the "Listener" who makes sure that everyone's ideas are heard.

    Educators can find the answer key here - careful, don’t share this with students!
  3. Consider establishing cooperative norms with students, such as: 
    • Listen carefully to each other so that everyone feels heard and valued.
    • Communicate with kindness and respect, even when you have different opinions or ideas. 
    • Encourage everyone to share their thoughts so that no one dominates the conversation.
    • Be open to new ideas when someone suggests a different strategy.
    • Celebrate small victories, and appreciate the efforts of each team member. 
    • Have fun and enjoy the experience together!
  4. After each group has successfully completed the game, guide students through a reflection by asking the following questions:
    • What was your favorite part of the game? What was the trickiest part?
    • How did you work together with your group members to solve the puzzles? What are some qualities of a good "team player"?
    • Is there a funny or exciting moment that you would like to share about?
    • What advice would you give other students who are playing this game?
    • How can the skills that you practiced in this game be applied to working with others in different settings, such as school sports or group assignments? 

If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...

Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call. 
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.

If students in either class don’t have individual devices...

Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.  
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.

If you prefer not using Kahoot!...

Use this document (Spanish version) to prompt students.