To create an outdoor activity for the winter months
Get students outdoors
Encourage students to observe nature closely
Demonstrate the interesting natural features of an urban
Encourage environmental stewardship
Challenges and Limitations
30 minute daily time slot
Since weather is so changeable, must be ready to use on a
Activity must be repeatable without boring returning
students, and materials must be reusable.
Appropriate for grades 1-6; some kids don't read yet,
and some know very little about nature
Created laminated scavenger hunt cards with common items
found around the school: dead leaves, animal tracks, birds.
To encourage stewardship, items are marked off on cards rather
than collected. The only exception is the "three pieces
of litter" item, which means every time this gave is played,
thirty or forty pieces of litter are removed from the playground.
Cards and markers (for noting their finds) are in a bin at the
school and can be used any time the weather is suitable.
The activity may be repeated because even though the
cards don't change, the outdoors is different every time
the students go out into it.
The cards are laminated and reusable.
Students can work alone or in groups of up to three.
Kids love this scavenger hunt! The youngest and
the oldest students love the thrill of discovery and playing outdoors.
Older kids are often very interested in tracks in the snow; the
scavenger hunt offers a great opportunity to show different patterns
of tracks (e.g., the difference between the walking and running
tracks of a dog).
There is no pressure to "win" this scavenger
hunt, though students often want some sort of competition. "Winning"
can be set up Bingo-style, where students have to get all the
items in a row or column, or, to make it harder, they have to
find all the items on the card and verify it with an adult. Multiple
winners are allowed.