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How to Run a Literacy Scavenger Hunt

Have you ever wanted to up the level of literacy fun at your school or library? Today I’m super excited to have Tonja Doering the Media Specialist from Arbor Ridge School share some incredible tips on how to run a Literacy Scavenger Hunt.

I love this idea of making literacy fun and interactive. How did you run your Literacy Scavenger Hunt?

Since we are a K-8 school, we always try to accommodate all of our learners which can sometimes be a challenge when we plan academic Family Nights.  We want to be able to reach our younger students as well as our older students.  We also want to show parents fun activities that they can do at home that would strengthen the skills of students at any age.  As a member of our Digital Curriculum Team, I am always looking for digital tools that we can use to engage our learners.  I came across GooseChase Edu and knew that this would be the perfect tool for a fun family event.  GooseChase is an app that people can download on their phones or iPads. 

Participants complete missions and can submit their answers by submitting pictures, videos and/or a text response within the app.  GooseChase has a game library that you can use and there was a sample Literacy Chase.  I used that game as a starting point and then created new missions with the help from several teachers. We designed 41 missions that allowed students and their families to go around the school to complete a variety of activities that emphasized different literacy components.  We wanted to have more than enough activities for families to complete in an hour.  We explained that they wouldn’t finish them all in an hour and that their goal was to get as many points as possible!  We assigned point values on missions based on their complexity level.

Here are a few examples of the missions we used:

Take a picture of an object you see. Then name three more words that begin with the same beginning SOUND as the object. For example, object: dog. You could list the words: dip, dock, duck.

Find the easel near the art room. Use magnetic letters to spell at least 3 sight words ( ex. ‘the’). See the link below. Be sure to take a picture of your work! (We included a link to a list of sight words appropriate for all grade levels)

Find an infographic and take a picture. List one fact you learned from reading the infographic.

Math Literacy: Find an example of a right angle and take a picture. 

Write a poem of at least 8 lines on a piece of paper. You can find materials you need at the check-in table or in the Makerspace area in the library. Take a picture of your poem!

Other missions had teammates cracking codes, solving word problems differentiated by grade level, solving riddles and using information found in student projects displayed in the hallways to answer questions.  The ideas are endless!!  One of the best parts of this app is that participants can see other responses in the news feed so they can read how others responded. Of course, as the game designer, you can choose what is shown in the feed or what is hidden!  (You don’t want to give away any answers!)  As the game manager, you get to see all submissions and can even award bonus points! 

What piece of advice would you give someone who might want to put this event on?

We asked participants to download the app before they arrived so that they would be ready to play!  This will allow participants to quickly join the game and begin their scavenger hunt.  We also had iPads available that had the app downloaded already for people who needed a device.  Several phones didn’t have battery left that late in the evening!  I had directions printed out on paper with our Game name and Join Code.  I would also display it on a large poster, board or easel so that it is easily visible.  Our line got pretty long at check-in and I think this would have helped!  As with any digital program, I would also suggest having a backup plan, just in case!

We received great feedback from our event and have already started planning for our next event. To make it even more engaging, we are going to allow students to submit ideas for missions!

Teachers/Media Specialists: Do you have an inspirational story, survival tip, organizational tip, engaging material, or a way to connect with students? If so click here to sign up.

Authors: Showcase a reading skill through your novel or a tip that develops writing skills. Click here to fill out the form.

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