Click here for a GoogleDoc of the group treasure hunt (view only…make a copy for yourself and edit away!).
This is real fun, low-risk activity I’ve done with middle school, high school, undergraduate and graduate students and they’ve all had a lot of fun with it. I use it when I’ve put the students into groups and want them to develop a sense of cohesiveness and build community amongst themselves. I don’t take credit for “inventing” this activity by any stretch of the imagination…I learned it during my time as an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and am pretty sure it’s a Tom Jackson activity.
Experience taught me…
1) Give one copy of the treasure hunt per group and make sure each group has space to work together without interference from other groups.
2) If you haven’t already, introduce the concept of shared responsibility. Students can rotate asking the questions and keeping track of the “points.”
3) When students ask about the points, you can make it seem like a big deal or leave it mysterious. It can make many groups more engaged if they think the points are attached to some reward. Spoiler Alert: The ultimate award is getting to know their teammates a bit better
4) The key point to make at the end, as you process the results, is how arbitrary the points seem to be. The process of learning was what was most important, not who had the most eyelets in their shoe versus the number of people in their family. A good point to make about the value of the work they do together…it’s not for the points, it’s for the learning together.