Educational structure of the “Spy & Escape at the Berlin wall” tour

For their class trip to Berlin, many teachers are looking for activities for school classes that both have a high educational value and offer a great fun factor for the students. During our puzzle tour “Flight & Espionage at the Berlin Wall”, we placed great emphasis on combining the two.

Educational content vividly conveyed: What is the story in “Spy & Escape at the Berlin Wall” about?

The puzzle tour tells the true story of art and antique dealer Siegfried Kath, who wanted and had to flee to the West. The students must help him by solving puzzles on their smartphones and following the clues along the Berlin Wall to get to the next location and find the escape tunnel at the end. Through interactive tasks, they learn more about life in the GDR, about the division of Germany, the Stasi and why people took the risky flight to the West.

What is the itinerary of the tour?

At the extracurricular learning location, the Berlin Wall and the Wall Memorial, their historical significance with regard to the Cold War and geopolitical tensions comes alive and visible. In this way, experiences are linked to historic places.

The tour begins with a video of the historical figure Siegfried Kath: A character, with facets, who needs help to escape. Because the Stasi is on to him. His story reflects the political conflict at the Wall. In the puzzle tour, this was worked out in an age-appropriate way.

In eleven stations, students can now expect an experience with exciting puzzles related to the GDR. The antique dealer and his biography “Millionaire in the GDR” - served as a model for this. The tour uses true events of his life and other actual escape stories.

The individual stations each show a representative aspect of the GDR.

History & politics prepared in an age-appropriate manner

“Dealing with the past serves as orientation in the present.”
- History curriculum, 7-10 classes, Berlin-Brandenburg

The “Flight & Espionage at the Berlin Wall” tour is based on history lessons from the framework curricula of all federal states. In a discovery way, students should dive into the world of thought of people in the former GDR:

  • What was it like to live in a state where you couldn't freely decide how you wanted to live your life?

  • What does it feel like to have to be on guard and think carefully about who you entrust your thoughts, concerns, fears and wishes to? - Because the other person could be a spy for the Stasi. And: Who was the Stasi anyway?

The tour includes historical & political learning content about:

  • The confrontation and détente between the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR
  • Everyday life in social and economic inequality as well as about human rights and democracy
  • Restricted freedom of travel in the GDR.
  • The effect of freedom of expression contrary to the system.
  • Limited opportunities for economic advancement through the central administrative economy of the GDR
  • Low living costs due to subsidies, but high costs for goods that are not organized in a planned economy
  • Supply bottlenecks & lack of innovation in products

This aspect is illustrated by the story in the scavenger hunt. The puzzle mission brings children closer to the reality of the people back then. The political aspects of this are also examined.

Students' acquisition of competencies: learning without realizing it

The puzzle tour is designed to be solved in groups. This means that students have the opportunity to work together as a team. They are challenged Share ideas, communicate with each other, and support each otherto solve the puzzles and reach the goal. This teamwork not only promotes social skills, but also shows how important working together is to be successful.

The various puzzles also require logical thinking, creative problem solving and linking information. Students are encouraged to think outside the box and try out different solutions. This critical thinking is an important skill that can also be used in school and later professional life.

In addition, the Media literacy strengthened and interdisciplinary learning on social, historical, social and political topics.

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Why do we choose a puzzle tour approach?

“History must be experienced so that it is not forgotten”
- Tobias, founder of SchoolRallye

The puzzle tour is intended to enable children to learn through play. Acquiring knowledge through exciting puzzles and by putting yourself in a strange situation helps you to understand and remember something better. Our aim is for learning to happen all by itself. By immersing themselves in the realities of life at that time, the children learn more about the GDR in the long term.

This tour was developed by a team of experts:

  • history teacher - Stefan Schuch:
    He ensured that the historical facts were presented correctly and in an age-appropriate manner. It was very important to us that the tour had a high educational value, as it was developed specifically for school classes.

  • Former scientific director of the German Spy Museum Berlin - Dr. Christopher Nehring:
    He provided us with his knowledge of Stasi espionage techniques and helped them to be reflected in the story that the tour tells and in the puzzles.

  • Motivational Psychology Expert - Simon Rothe:
    Through a playful transfer of knowledge, he has ensured that the tour promotes fun and is also entertaining. In doing so, we focused in particular on teamwork.

  • Storyteller - Philllip Lang:
    For appealing storytelling, we were supported by an expert who also works for plays and film productions.

Suitable for students from 8th grade with and without previous knowledge of the GDR

The puzzle tour is specially designed for students. Both classes without previous treatment of the GDR in class can play the tour, as well as students who have already discussed the GDR in class.

Can be played in class without previous treatment

For school classes without previous knowledge, the puzzle tour is a good starting point to deal with the topic in more detail later in history lessons. Through SchoolRallye, students can acquire initial insights about this period themselves in a fun way. The children already have a feeling for the living conditions at the time and can better empathize with the situation. This can help to make it easier to understand and classify the facts and information from history lessons later on.

Playable in class with previous treatment

The puzzle tour is very suitable for school classes who already have previous knowledge of the GDR. What you have already learned can be deepened by combining it with real experiences. Here, the students are right at the scene of the action and play out a situation that actually happened often, namely an attempt to escape. In this way, they can dive into this period and empathize with the realities of life of people in the GDR. What could it have felt like to be spied on? Why did this antique dealer, who was rich, still want to flee to the West in the GDR? And how was that even possible in a state in which the economy was planned from above to become so rich? - Students will get to the bottom of these questions.