Chef Rescue: A Musical Puzzle Adventure

Every summer I like to create a project or challenge for my students who take on lessons during the holidays. This year saw the creation of "Chef Rescue: A Musical Puzzle Adventure" Chef Rescue: A Musical Puzzle Adventure can be bought here, and included in the download are: - A version you can print and use as is

- A version that requires some cutting out - English terminology and American terminology of both


We've been contacted by a local cafe owner whose chef has recently discovered The Secret Ingredient which makes everything taste amazing. A renowned villain has kidnapped the chef in the hope they can steal The Secret Ingredient from them. The villain has left a series of clues for us to work out the address where the chef is being kept, but claims that in the time it takes us to solve the puzzles they will have run off with The Secret Ingredient. Your students are told this in the form of a letter, so you don't need to explain it to them.


There are four puzzles but each puzzle is multi-layered, and some puzzles link together (which means all the parts need to be kept together until Chef Rescue has been completed).

I'll outline how the puzzles work, but it's a bit of a spoiler so if you want to do the puzzles with no prior knowledge, skip this section!


- LOLLY WORD SEARCH- The music detective (your student) has to find four words in the word search. Just one catch. There are no letters in the grid, only symbols. Luckily, they have some lollies with the same symbols on. These lollies also have stave notes, so if they work out the letter of the note they get the letter the symbol represents. They can now find the words in the grid. Once the words have been covered up (or the shapes have been coloured if they're using the Print & Use version) a shape will be created that will reveal the name of the villain.


This puzzle challenges your students' observation skills as they are faced with lots of different musical symbols, but some of them are incorrect (for example missing a part or backwards) or just not needed. their job is to place the correct food items (that are next to the musical symbols) in the correct segments in the Bento Box (marked with the symbols' names). Only when they've sorted the right from wrong and placed them in the correct places will they reveal two numbers - the house number where the chef is. They can then look at the map to see if they can find the location. But wait. There's a few houses with that number! We still don't know where the chef is! (Warning: This annoyed a couple of my students that they'd worked hard to get the numbers and then still were no closer!) If they're using the Print & Use version they will simply colour in the sections where the symbols match the terminology and they will reveal the numbers that way.


This puzzle brings in some music maths, but with cute cupcakes. There's a sheet of strawberry cupcakes with letters on, and a collection of colourful cupcakes with notes on. The music detective then works out which strawberry cupcakes can be covered up by the colourful cupcakes (not all will be used) by adding up all the beats on the cupcakes and counting the number of strawberries. (For example if a colourful cupcake has three beats on, use it to cover up a cupcake with three strawberries on). When all the correct strawberry cupcakes have been covered up, the remaining letters will reveal a message to take the detective one step closer to finding the address. If using the Print & Use version the student will simply cross out the strawberry cupcakes not needed.


The last puzzle only has one sheet, which confused my students because they were used to getting lots of different components. However, the instructions tell them they need to use parts from previous puzzles (which is why it's important your students keep everything together!) They need to gather up the lollies with the symbols and notes on, and the colourful cupcakes. Some keener-eyed students will have noticed there are symbols on some of the cupcakes, and that observation will come in handy here. Others will need that pointing out for them. Match up the lollies and cupcakes (not all will be used) by matching the symbols. They will then get a letter (from the stave note) and a number (from the beats) that they can use on the picnic grid to get letters. The order in which they get the letters doesn't matter, as they will then have a simple anagram to solve - if they have the map in front of them it'll be even easier! This is then the last clue they need to figure out the address and save the chef!


I'm known for being a bit extra when I do projects like this, and Chef Rescue was no different. For my lollies I stuck them onto little colourful lolly sticks, which my students absolutely loved.

For the Bento box individual foods I put them in little bags and paper clipped them together with little dog paper clips, and then included a small origami box for them to keep them in. I created a little Case Files book for them to write notes in (but it turned out they didn't actually need to write many notes, so I didn't include it in the download file because it wasn't necessary). I put each puzzle in separate envelopes, so the students couldn't see the puzzles until it was the correct week to open them. The envelopes were then put in a small paper bag with their name on, so they could keep all the components in the bags and know where everything was. I also gave them a small prize at the end that was hiding in the fifth envelope - a small sticker of a cat chef (and they were all amused that the chef was a cat the whole time!) and two cute pencil toppers (that can also be used as tokens for games we play). Obviously you don't need to go to extra effort like I did. The puzzles by themselves are fun and colourful enough - I just like to make everything extra special (and it gave them a nice distraction during a weird summer holiday).


Chef Rescue: A Musical Puzzle Adventure tests your students' musical knowledge in fun, quirky, and colourful ways. They will utilise their note reading skills, knowledge of musical symbols, and make use of their ability to do music maths, but without really noticing they're doing any hard work! My students did one puzzle in their lesson each week, and each week they would tell me how much they were enjoying it and loved how colourful and cute everything looked, and how the puzzles were the right amount of challenging. They didn't get stuck on anything, and a lot of them figured out what to do without me telling them (even my 5 year old would work out what she was meant to be doing, so I never felt I had to step in!) Buy Chef Rescue: A Musical Puzzle Adventure here. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message!