Quick Group Scavenger Hunt
Contributed by Yael Ben-Zion
In this small-group activity, students learn about each other and build community by participating in a scavenger hunt.
- Begin with a group brainstorm. Ask students what they know about scavenger hunts and gather answers. Use their knowledge to create criteria for today’s activity.
- Explain how to play: The class will be divided into groups of 3 or 4 students. Each group will record (take a picture or draw) each of the following: something that makes noise, something that makes them laugh, something that reminds them of their families, friends, or homes, something they all have in common, and something that connects to the next part of your lesson.
- Provide groups with 5 minutes to plan. In this time, they should decide how they will divide tasks as well as what objects they will record.
- Then have a 5-minute Scavenger Hunt! Groups can move around as needed to take pictures or sketch.
- Come together to share the images as a whole class.
- “How did your group come up with the idea?”
- “How was it to brainstorm?”
- “What was your favorite category?”
Transition into Activity
Ask students what they know about scavenger hunts. Play music that inspires students to get into a searching or adventure mood.
Transition out of Activity
Ask students to find the final object for you—an object that is connected to the next part of your lesson.
Students start as a full class for the brainstorm and directions (audience-style at the rug or their desks). Do the activity in small groups (moving around the space). Sharing and reflection happen back as a full class.
- Use cameras (phone cameras or otherwise) to photograph or paper and pencils to sketch. Have adaptive handles available for tools like pencils.
- Adjust the list of categories according to students’ interest or topics related to the workshop or residency.
- Provide a written and/or visual checklist of the item types they are seeking.
- Students can collect the actual materials for a more concrete realia experience.
- Use a visual timer or music during their small-group working time.
- It may be helpful to have the groups planned ahead of time. If possible, check in with the Classroom Professionals before class or at the beginning to get their recommendations for groups.
- Offer a list of “roles” each member of the group can do: director, drawer, camera operator, list checker, etc. Allow some time for students to choose, or ask the Classroom Professionals to assign roles or support students in rotating roles for each object.
Possible Roles for Classroom Professionals
- Plan who is in each small group and the division of tasks if needed.
- Support students who need help in the group setting, or work with students individually if needed.
- Manage the timer, or music during the searching time.
- Help small groups in brainstorming.
- Assist with uploading, printing, or projecting the images onto a screen.
Adjustments for Remote Instruction
Students could take a picture and share it on their screen, or draw or sketch the items.
Try playing music while they sketch or take the pictures.
Ask students to turn their cameras off while searching and then have a “big reveal” moment when they turn their cameras on to reveal what they took a picture of or drew.
Students can work individually and share with the class once they are done, or they can work in small groups, using breakout rooms to brainstorm, and work together as a group making the pictures—then one member takes a screenshot to share with the full class.
Ask students to search for actual items near them, and bring them back to share with their classmates.