SCAVENGER HUNTS: SUBTLE LEARNING

Do you have a like/dislike kind of feeling towards holiday celebration activities throughout the school year? Every time they come around, be it Halloween, Thanksgiving, Harmony Day or even Father's Day and Mother's Day, it takes some effort to get students to stay focused on the curriculum while also accommodating these holiday-themed activities into the classroom.

Well, I have discovered one way where subtle learning can take place even in the midst of celebration frenzy and excitement - via fact-based Scavenger Hunts. These Hunts could be just about for any subject.

school holidays and celebrations such as halloween, thanksgiving, veterans day, australia day, easter, st patricks day, cinco de mayo, diwali, leap year, new years day, july 4th, april fools day, martin luther king jr, memorial day, groundhog day, valentine's day scavenger hunt activities

So for instance, you can have students learn all about how Christmas is celebrated around the world by having them go on a scavenger hunt for fun and interesting facts

school holidays and celebrations such as halloween, thanksgiving, veterans day, australia day, easter, st patricks day, cinco de mayo, diwali, leap year, new years day, july 4th, april fools day, martin luther king jr, memorial day, groundhog day, valentine's day scavenger hunt activities

or how the Chinese celebrate their new year

      school holidays and celebrations such as halloween, thanksgiving, veterans day, australia day, easter, st patricks day, cinco de mayo, diwali, leap year, new years day, july 4th, april fools day, martin luther king jr, memorial day, groundhog day, valentine's day scavenger hunt activities

or even about the strange and interesting traditions celebrated around the world to bring in the New Year.

back to school new year

Technology always seems to fascinate kids and having a hunt that has QR codes to scan is indeed a winner.

veterans day qr code activity

Quoting from personal experience, my students have so much fun with these hunts that they don't even realise/realize they are assimilating important information - that's the charm of subtle learning!

australia day scavenger hunt activity

So in other words, a great way to convey complex, otherwise mundane content, is through fun and exciting Scavenger Hunts that provide an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning.

school holidays and celebrations such as halloween, thanksgiving, veterans day, australia day, easter, st patricks day, cinco de mayo, diwali, leap year, new years day, july 4th, april fools day, martin luther king jr, memorial day, groundhog day, valentine's day scavenger hunt activities

So how does a scavenger hunt work?

school holidays and celebrations such as halloween, thanksgiving, veterans day, australia day, easter, st patricks day, cinco de mayo, diwali, leap year, new years day, july 4th, april fools day, martin luther king jr, memorial day, groundhog day, valentine's day scavenger hunt activities

Well, first and foremost, prior to having the students go on a hunt, the teacher needs to engage the students in a 5-7 minute warm-up activity whereby a brief introduction is provided on the subject in focus. Rules are explained, difficult terminology is targeted, and a subsequent activity is kept ready for early finishers.

school holidays and celebrations such as halloween, thanksgiving, veterans day, australia day, easter, st patricks day, cinco de mayo, diwali, leap year, new years day, july 4th, april fools day, martin luther king jr, memorial day, groundhog day, valentine's day scavenger hunt activities

Then students armed with their recording sheets go on the hunt. They have to find the corresponding fact cards to answer the questions on their recording sheet. This entails careful reading of the fact cards and consequently comprehending the information on each one - now isn't that some much needed reading practice coming into play.

leap year hunt 2020

I find this application of reading skills particularly beneficial to my students who are reading challenged - in that, content information is presented in manageable chunks so to speak. The skill of decoding, reading and comprehending is still at work - but with snippets of text. Talk about the ideal way to set a child up for success!

school holidays and celebrations such as halloween, thanksgiving, veterans day, australia day, easter, st patricks day, cinco de mayo, diwali, leap year, new years day, july 4th, april fools day, martin luther king jr, memorial day, groundhog day, valentine's day scavenger hunt activities

You can also add an element of competitiveness to this activity by having students work in groups and rewarding the team that finishes the Hunt first or even set a time limit. Kids love the excitement of competing - all in good fun.

school holidays and celebrations such as halloween, thanksgiving, veterans day, australia day, easter, st patricks day, cinco de mayo, diwali, leap year, new years day, july 4th, april fools day, martin luther king jr, memorial day, groundhog day, valentine's day scavenger hunt activities

The best part is that learning is happening subtly, although outwardly - it seems to be all fun and games, students are consciously/subconsciously acquring information and learning is undoubtedly taking place.
leap year qr code activity

So if you are looking for a great big bundle of celebration-themed scavenger hunts that you would like your students to go on during the school year, why not think about investing in this mega bundle. It features all the major holiday celebrations. 


And if there's one hunt in particular that is not listed but you would like for your classroom, then do let me know by commenting below. My students are always ready to do a new hunt!

Also if you would like to try a hunt with your students and witness first hand the fun, excitement and learning it generates, then this April Fool's Day freebie is for you!

Happy teaching!
Until next time...








The Versatility of Flipbooks

Flipbooks are undeniably known for their versatility. They scaffold the structure of a piece of writing, be it a persuasive, narrative, biography or an informative report. Needless to say, they are also a handy visual tool, and look simply impressive.

writing flipbook narrative opinion persuasive

They can be used for just about any subject or topic:

1.  Scaffolding the structural components of a writing genre.

scaffolding a narrative writing essay


2.  Helping students organize/organise their writing in an Informative Report.

Informative Writing Animal Report


3. Writing a Book Report.

Writing a book report: flipbook organizer


Interestingly, the templates other than scaffolding structural elements, also serve as a means of collating information in addition to drafting and editing.

Hispanic Americans Biography



Once students have edited their writing for accuracy then they can refer to their flipbook when publishing.

            Thanksgiving Flipbook: history and tradition    


 The templates also serve a dual purpose. Other than compiling them to create a flipbook, they can also be glued into an Interactive Notebook.



If creating a flipbook, the templates simply need to be stapled at the top.

Mother's Day Writing Poems

The interactive notebook requires gluing at the top tabs after arranging in descending order. The last template is glued down first, followed consecutively by the rest.

Planets of the Solar System Flipbook

Preparing the flipbook templates take a reasonable amount of effort, but the finished product is worth the time spent.

I have my students first cut out and assemble the templates to compile the flipbook. Then they work at their own pace researching and finishing each section. This will be their first draft.

Research on the planets of the solar system flipbook

Once all sections of the flipbook are completed, students use the checklists to self-edit and peer-edit.

                 


Finally, students publish their research on lined publishing sheets. They refer to the edited information collated in their flipbooks.

Women's History Month Biography publishing sheets



A teacher marking rubric will help you assess students' completed flipbooks for structural components and content.

Biography teacher marking rubric


Once all students have completed their research flipbooks, they look truly impressive displayed on the bulletin board. Be ready to receive many compliments from others.

Christmas Around the World Flipbooks


Want to try the versatility of flipbooks by getting exclusive access to biography editable flipbooks on 20 notable women of history? These templates will help your students document their research and scaffold the writing of a biography. Checklists and teacher marking rubrics also included - perfect activity for your students to do during Women's History Month in March.

The following notable women in history are featured in these editable templates:
Helen Keller, Oprah Winfrey, Charlotte Bronte, Billie Jean King, Mother Teresa, Queen Elizabeth II, Elizabeth I, Princess Diana, Catherine Middleton, Amelia Earhart, Anne Frank, Florence Nightingale, Joan of Arc, Marie Antoinette, Malala Yousafzai, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Indira Gandhi, Cleopatra, Eva Peron, Catherine the Great and Frida Kahlo.

Get access by clicking on the image below:
women's history flipbook

Happy teaching!
Until next time...