A scavenger hunt is a fun way to teach vocabulary terms to ELLs. They also get students up and moving and can give them some control over what terms they choose to find. Many are simple enough that students can complete them at home.
If students work with a partner or in small groups, a scavenger hunt is a natural way for them to practice speaking skills as well. Students can discuss whether objects fit with the topic they are hunting for.
If you have access to cameras, cell phones, or tablets, students can take photographs of objects that fit into the different categories for a scavenger hunt. They can then take the photographs and create a presentation in Google Slides where they type in simple sentences about what they found.
Vocabulary Scavenger Hunts
For young students and lower ELLs you can come up with a list of items that follow a specific theme. Add a picture next to the word to help students and review the list before they begin. Then students can search for that object. This gives students with lower language levels some vocabulary to use as they are hunting.
Alphabet Scavenger Hunt
Find objects that start with different letters of the alphabet/ have a certain letter sound. An alphabet scavenger hunt works great inside or outside of the classroom. It can also be a quick filler activity when you have a few extra minutes.
Word Study Scavenger Hunt
Students can use the classroom library to go on a word study scavenger hunt. They can take an index card or sticky note and record new words that follow a word pattern that they are focusing on for the week.
Measurement Scavenger Hunt
Students search for objects that are a specified measurement. A great follow up activity is to have them measure in both inches and centimeters. Then speak and write about how the two measurements compare. Get a pre-made set of measurement sheets HERE.
_____ is _____ inches. (The book is 8 inches)
______ is ______ inches because (The book is 8 inches because I started measuring at the zero and it ends at the 8.)
__inches is bigger than/smaller than ___centimeters
Shape Scavenger Hunt
When students are learning about 2D or 3D shapes they can find examples of shapes around them. Provide students with an organizer with the shape and its name along with space to record what they find. If you have enough technology this is a great activity to do with cameras. Split students into groups and have them photograph objects for each shape. They can then use the photographs to make flashcards to review the math terms. The students will have additional ownership since they chose which objects to take pictures of.
______ is a _______. (The table is a square.)
_______ is a ________ because __________. (The table is a square because it has four equal sides.)