BY BILL FERRIS
The scavenger hunt, the good twin of the wild-goose chase, can be a fun way to exercise students’ creativity and problem-solving skills. This video from Howcast shows you how to put together a scavenger hunt using modern tools like cell phones and multimedia. Using smart phones, the hunters in the video solve riddles via text message, snap pictures of interesting landmarks, and dial a secret number for the next clue by solving a math problem.
While I haven’t done this myself, it looks like a fun way to fuse technology and education. This idea is swollen with educational opportunities — incorporating study questions into the clues, challenging kids to find creative solutions, or promoting collaboration and teamwork — and you can adapt it for just about any subject.
The technology ups the wow factor, but if you don’t have a lot of tech access, you don’t have to miss out. Since you can’t count on every kid having a cell phone, let alone a smart phone, you can form teams around your iPhone- or Android-toting kids. If that’s not an option, consider other options like video or still cameras.
To get your students thinking even more creatively, divide them into teams and task them with developing hunts for other teams. Create a rubric and set of requirements that each hunt must have (must include a clue pertaining to Washington crossing the Delaware, get pictures of objects signifying 10 elements from the periodic table, etc.).
Start planning your scavenger hunt while the weather is still nice. It could be a fun way to teach, and at the very least, the excuse you’ve been looking for to buy that geek phone you’ve been coveting.
Photo credit: drewdomkus on Flickr.