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Activity

Follow the Word Trail: Organize a Treasure Hunt

 

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Follow the Word Trail: Organize a Treasure Hunt

Grades 3 – 8
Activity Time 1-2 hours to plan the hunt, then 30 minutes to find the treasure.
Activity Author

Dylan Smith

Dylan Smith

Portland, Oregon

 
Publisher National Council of Teachers of English
 

Activity Description

Why This Is Helpful

 

Activity Description

Set up a treasure hunt around the house, yard, park, or any space you’re familiar and comfortable with.  It can be done outdoors or indoors.  The action is similar to a scavenger hunt, except instead of eggs, the hunters are looking to uncover a succession of clues leading them ultimately to the hidden treasure.  This can be done a few ways, depending on age-appropriateness: an adult can design the treasure hunt for the children, or the children can design the treasure hunt for an adult, or children can design the treasure hunt for each other.  In all instances, the activity engages the interpretive and creative thinking skills of the child, whether by concocting the clues or by solving them.

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Why This Is Helpful

This activity focuses on observation and description, as well as creative interpretation.  Whether children write out the clues themselves or decipher clues provided by others, they are compelled to examine their surroundings in close detail, and to open their imaginations to visualizing their world in new and diverse ways.  Deciphering the clues challenges their language comprehension skills, and by devising their own clues, children engage in innovative analysis of objective reality.  Also, the process of articulating their observations into clues is an exercise in artful wordplay.

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