Treasure Hunts

Students will write notes to help their classmates find ‘treasures’ hidden around the school. Different types of notes will require students to call upon different grammar or vocabulary skills.

The ‘treasures’ should probably be small objects of little to no value. Teachers may provide the treasures for everyone, or students may bring little items from home.


Decide the Hiding Locations

Students should think about places to hide their treasures. They should be in places that are accessible, but the treasures should not be in the way or in spots where someone else would take them or move them by accident. It might be behind something, under something, or hiding in plain sight.

If it is reasonable for your class, the hiding places might be outside the school, perhaps in a nearby park. Use your own discretion, and be sure to set limits.


Write the Treasure Notes

Write a paragraph or two for each note. You can use declarative sentences (“The treasure is in …”) or imperative sentences (“Go to the …”). At the end each, explain what the actual treasure item is or how the treasure hunters will identify it.

Explain the Location

Start with the most straightforward one. Which building is it in? Which floor is it on? Which room? Where in the room is it?

Give Directions

Instead of giving the destination, tell the treasure hunters how to get there. Start from here, turn left after X meters, take the next right, etc.

Describe the Physical Location

Instead of telling the hunters which room its in, describe the room to them. What color are its walls? What other interesting things are in that room? How many doors, windows, tables, chairs, etc. does it have?

Do the same for the specific object that the treasure is on/in/behind/under/etc.

Describe the Location by Its Use

What does someone usually do in this room? Why would you go there? What time of day might you go there? What kings of things happen in that room?

Do the same for the specific object that the treasure is on/in/behind/under/etc.

State the Location, then Describe the Treasure

Like the first treasure note, tell your hunters exactly which room it’s in, but don’t get more specific than that. Unlike the rest of the notes, don’t tell the hunters what the treasure is. Describe it instead.

How big is it? What shape is it? What color? What can you do with it?

BONUS: Draw a Map

This one doesn’t involve a lot of language skills, but you can hardly go treasure hunting without a map!


Hide the Treasures

This part should come after the Treasure Notes are written so that there’s less time for someone else to discover them on accident. Students might need to do this in shifts so that they don’t discover each other’s locations.

You may want to let other teachers and administrators know what’s going on so that they don’t move any of the treasures.


Go on a Hunt!

Students should exchange treasure notes by whatever means the teachers decide. The students should follow the directions and descriptions they were given. You may want to set a time limit. You could turn this activity into a competition, or not.

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