How to Use a Scavenger Hunt - TeamTom Education (2024)

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In this post, we look at how to use a scavenger hunt to engage learners in an active practice activity. But first,what is a scavenger hunt?

A scavenger hunt is an excellent way to take any ordinary lesson and turn it into a fun and engaging active learning activity where students are moving around, thinking about the content, and practicing skills!

How to Use a Scavenger Hunt - TeamTom Education (1)

How to Use a Scavenger Hunt

  1. Post “cards” around the room (or into the halls) with specific learning tasks on them.
  2. Prepare an answer page that each student will carry around.
  3. Students are told a starting point in the scavenger hunt.
  4. After working through the first card (their starting point), students walk around to find the answer.
  5. Their answer is linked to another card, and that is where they work next.
  6. If they cannot find their answer choice, then they know they made the wrong choice and need to return to the previous card and try again.

This process continues until all of the cards are complete.

A great part of the scavenger hunt is the self-checking feature. This gives right/wrong feedback to students, so they do not practice and reinforce errors.

What does a Teacher Do in a Scavenger Hunt?

The teacher’s role is to support, monitor, and guide.

Support students in the scavenger hunt by clarifying the directions as the students move around – also check to make sure they aren’t justhunting answers (they must choose an answer before they hunt).

Monitor students to make sure they are doing the work and not just following a friend or even copying a peer’s work.

Guide students in the scavenger hunt as you see they are struggling. Provide clarifying questions or ask them to explain their thinking, so you can determine any misconceptions that should be addressed.

How Long Should a Scavenger Hunt Take?

This largely depends on your content or skill that the students are practicing. Usually, you don’t want the hunt to last longer than 20-25 minutes, and some scavenger hunt can last only 10-15 minutes.

After the scavenger hunt, be sure to check the answers and provide additional instruction on the most challenging questions.

Scavenger Hunt Power Tips

  1. If a student is in a loop (circling back to the same question without moving forward) that means they have a wrong answer. They can either reread the questions or move on to a random card knowing there’s a wrong answer.
  2. Cheating! Some students are going to figure a way to “guess and check”. While this strategy is good for math, it’s not good for practicing reading skills. Monitor them closely to make sure the read, answer the question, then move onto the hunt.

Scavenger Hunts Made For You

You can make your own scavenger hunts, or you can view reading and math scavenger hunts made by TeamTom Education.

What scavenger hunts are available? In our TPT store there are currently 6 reading scavenger hunts and 7 math scavenger hunts.

Click below to preview the scavenger hunts at Teachers Pay Teachers.

The scavenger hunts are one of our favorite resources! But don't take our word for it. Teachers and students love them too!

My kids had a great time with this review!"

- Brittani R. Aug, 2019,Text Features Scavenger Hunt

I love the price and the easy to use format!"

- Middle Shop. Jan, 2019, Ratios, Numbers, Operations Scavenger Hunt

Awesome!Awesome! Awesome! Love these and can't wait for more."

- Christina S. July, 2019, Fiction Scavenger Hunt 3


About the Author

TeamTom Education is dedicated to creating engaging teaching resources and strategies that make learning awesome!

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How to Use a Scavenger Hunt - TeamTom Education (2024)


How to Use a Scavenger Hunt - TeamTom Education? ›

Prepare an answer page that each student will carry around. Students are told a starting point in the scavenger hunt. After working through the first card (their starting point), students walk around to find the answer. Their answer is linked to another card, and that is where they work next.

What lessons can you learn from scavenger hunt? ›

Scavenger hunts are stealthy teachers. As kids read the clues and make decisions on where to look, they're also honing executive functioning skills. Sequencing, organizing, and problem-solving, all wrapped up in the thrill of a game. And let's not forget the physical aspect.

How do you use scavenger hunt? ›

How to play:
  1. Create a list of things to find, hear or do. ...
  2. Create a time limit (optional).
  3. Give children the list and let them scavenge around and find, smell or do all of the things on their list.
  4. The player or team who ticks everything off on their list first, or ticks off the most items before the time is up, wins.

What are the learning outcomes of scavenger hunt? ›

Scavenger hunts help build children's observational skills and teach collaboration and teamwork which enhance their language and communication skills, problem-solving skills, and social-emotional intelligence.

What are good scavenger hunt questions? ›

Scavenger Hunt Riddles for Kids
  • I am in the kitchen, but you can't eat me, fido really loves to greet me! ...
  • When you feel tired, you might use me, I have four legs, but I have no feet. ...
  • I have a neck but do not have a head, I wear a cap on top instead. ...
  • I am a rainbow in a box. ...
  • I grow short as I get older.
Dec 15, 2022

How are scavenger hunts educational? ›

Not only can scavenger hunts be done just about anywhere, they also boost observation skills and help children develop early learning skills in a fun, relaxed, and natural way. Plus, it's just so much more fun to hunt for the color red, the letter E, and an octagon than it is to fill in a paper about them!

How do you make a scavenger hunt lesson plan? ›

Post “cards” around the room (or into the halls) with specific learning tasks on them. Prepare an answer page that each student will carry around. Students are told a starting point in the scavenger hunt. After working through the first card (their starting point), students walk around to find the answer.

How to play scavenger hunt in classroom? ›

Scavenger Hunt: How to Play These Games?
  1. Create a list of things to search out, hear or do.
  2. Set a time limit (within which the task has to be completed)
  3. Give the participants a list and let them scavenge around.
  4. The one who completes doing the tasks earliest or does the maximum within a given time is the winner.
Jul 31, 2022

What are the rules for a scavenger hunt? ›

Players have two minutes to search for silly stuff like a purple shirt, a funny hat and other items around the house. Kids move ahead one space on the game board for every item they find and additional spaces for putting everything back where it belongs (so the house stays tidy).

What skills are used in a scavenger hunt? ›

Problem Solving and Creativity

Scavenger hunts often involve solving riddles, puzzles, and clues, which stimulate critical thinking and problem-solving skills. As teams brainstorm and think outside the box to overcome challenges, they develop their creativity and innovative thinking abilities.

What are the learning outcomes for nature scavenger hunt? ›

Having a scavenger hunt also helps to develop: • Language skills such as naming colours, and textures. Environmental awareness. Children learn to recognise a variety of different natural items and resources around their home.

What is the goal of a scavenger hunt? ›

The goal is to be the first to complete the list or to complete the most items on that list. In variations of the game, players take photographs of listed items or be challenged to complete the tasks on the list in the most creative manner.

How to write clues for scavenger hunt? ›

First, decide where you want to hide your clue, then think up a way to describe that object or location. Many of these riddles rhyme, so after thinking up your item, you may want to find a pair of rhyming words that relate to the object, and write the clue from there.

What is an example sentence for scavenger hunt? ›

They were on a scavenger hunt, they said. The money for the scavenger hunt was left over tuition for school and from local sponsors. This example is from Wikipedia and may be reused under a CC BY-SA license. There is also an outdoor classroom for schools and groups, and a scavenger hunt scorecard.

How can I make my scavenger hunt more interesting? ›

Come up with scavenger hunt clues to help your participants find the items on their list. Feel free to get creative and write riddles, poems, and puzzles that will reveal the locations of the items. Tip: Tools like Treasure Run help you automatically generate scavenger hunt clues and puzzles to be solved.

What are the values of scavenger hunts? ›

Scavenger hunts encourage leadership, communication, and interaction by their very nature. When lots of different decisions must be made, someone has to take charge. This allows for leadership skills to be fine-tuned in a playful environment that feels non-threatening to the rest of the team.

What can children learn from a treasure hunt? ›

Hidden Benefits of Scavenger Hunts
  • Social Skills. ...
  • Sensory Regulation. ...
  • Mind and Body Exercise. ...
  • Connecting With Nature.

What is the point of a scavenger hunt? ›

Scavenger hunts encourage problem-solving skills.

In a scavenger hunt, teams race to solve puzzles, riddles, and codes to learn the location of an item. As teams put their heads together, they're learning to work on these roadblocks to succeed as a team and lean on the strengths of various members.

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