Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday Think: Brainstorming Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Idea We get out for walks around our community quite a bit when the weather is nice.  I've been wanting to add something more to this so that we are linking these walks back to something we are doing in class or something the students can learn about/be exposed to.  I've done a few scavenger hunts over the years and the kids really like them.  I've also done scavenger hunts when we do Buddy Time with the grade 5 class in our school and it makes for excellent interaction between the students in our class and their buddies.  I thought for today's "Thursday Think" I would brainstorm a bunch of different ideas that I can draw on for scavenger hunts.  If you have ideas to add, please post a reply or create your own blog post and let me know so that I can come over and take a look.

Note I will be trying to do "Thursday Thinks" regularly.  These will just be posts where I brainstorm ideas related to something I do in our classroom.  Some of what is posted will be things I've tried, some of it will e things that I've read about in a variety of places, some of it will just be wacky-off-the-top-of-my-head ideas.
With that said, here is my scavenger hunt idea list.  Note that some are finding things that you can pick up and bring back and some are just finding the things.  The second type could include picture taking or just checking things off on a list as there will always be adults with the students.  On the note of taking pictures through, I've been looking for a vendor that will sell a switch adapted digital cameras and whenever I find one they no longer make them.  If anyone knows of a place I can get one, please message me.
Safety Sign Scavenger Hunt:  Make a boardmaker list of safety signs that students have to find around the community.  Go out for a walk and match the symbol to the signs.  Teams could tally up how many of each things they have found or take along a map and mark where they found things, check off on their list or take pictures.

Around the School Scavenger Hunt: This is one to get students familiar or re-familiar with the school.  They look for things that will only be in certain locations of the school and then either collect them or write down where they found them.  Again, boardmaker list could be used.  This is not a scavenger hunt but its also a cute way to see the whole school: The kindergarten teacher at our school does a gingerbread man thing and the kids go looking for the gingerbread man in each classroom in the school.  They get a hint at each classroom and are able to see and say hello to everyone who is in the school.

Grocery Store Scavenger Hunt:  Find things that are on a grocery list or items you need to make something specific.  Picture symbols needed.  Could create a chart where you move the symbol from needed to being in a symbol of a cart.

Mall Scavenger Hunt: Could be related to finding specific items or finding stores that sell certain types of things (example: find a store where you can buy a CD).  Could use pictures, a map or just a checklist.

The Great Outdoors Scavenger Hunt:  Students go outside and look for things found in nature (wild flower, grass, rock, pinecone, bug, dirt, worm...etc.).  Probably goes without saying at this point, but I would make a Boardmaker Symbol list of the items that students are looking for. 

People Scavenger Hunt:  You know these ones.  The ones that get used as introductions to workshops where you have to go around and find someone who... you fill in the blank.  This one could be done using a step-by-step switch for our students.

Election Scavenger Hunt: With an election looming in our future here in Canada, I thought it would be great to do a campaign sign scavenger hunt.

Holiday Scavenger Hunts:  Go out looking for things related to a specific holiday.  For Halloween for example students could look for decorations related to Halloween (so a spider web, a ghost, a tombstone, a pumpkin, a witch...etc.)

Puzzle Piece Scavenger Hunt:  Create a scene related to whatever topic you are studying and copy it on different color poster paper.  Cut the scene in to puzzle pieces and then hide the puzzle pieces around whatever area you are using for your scavenger hunt.  Each team is assigned a color of paper and told how many pieces of the puzzle they need all together.  Teams go out searching for the puzzle pieces and when they find them, they bring them back to the classroom and assemble the puzzle.

Our Community Scavenger Hunt:  This one would be related to things that are in our community like a fast food restaurant, a grocery store, a park, a drug store...etc.

Transportation Scavenger Hunt:  Go out and find as many different modes of transportation as you can.  Take pictures or make a list.  Must actually see them and can't just make up because you know of a certain type of transportation.

Store Scavenger Hunt:  Go to a specific type of store and find a set number of items.  So could go to a drugstore and need to find everything that you would need to stay clean.  Have a list of those items made up on Boardmaker and students go and find them.  For this particular one some of things you would include are soap, deoderant, shampoo, conditioning, toothbrush, toothpaste....etc.

Theme Related Scavenger Hunts:  Would depend on the theme and may require hiding some items around.  For example, we are going to to be doing one for Super Sand Castles where students look for things that they need to fill their beachbag.  I'm using pretty much the same list as I used for the spinner game I posted earlier.

Emotion Scavenger Hunt:  Take pictures of 5 people who are "happy", 5 people who are "sad", 5 people who are "angry"...etc.  This would require asking people to show these emotions.  A good time to do it might be when other students are outside at morning recess time.  This one is great to create pictures that we can use for emotion sorting activities ;).

Color Scavenger Hunt:  Students go out and find a set number of things that are a certain color.  I was thinking to do one on a "rainbow theme" where they find things that are each of the six rainbow colors and then we glue them on a rainbow.  This would be done around St. Patrick's Day.  We could also throw in some hunting for those gold coins at the same time ;).

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