This page contains some notes on treasure hunts as well as links to examples and readings for teachers.


Provide guided exploration of web sites in an enjoyable game-like environment.
Build internet searching and evaluation skills.

Question items might target:

vocabulary in context: find synonyms, antonyms, definitions, explanations
skimming and scanning skills
audience: layout, graphics
information literacy author/source: reliable source, updated, perspective, tone?
authentic materials
cultural content, observations
search skills
image-based observation
personal connection to material: which do YOU prefer, like, play
familiarity with online resources (dictionaries, encyclopedias, museums, news, govts)
Newspaper, magazine scanning: questions focus on contstants and generic so doesn’t have to depend on day/content of newspaper. Sections, images, today’s topic

foreign language search engines

image sites, image analysis: animals, weather maps, Olympics,

reference tools: dictionaries, encyclopedias,

tourism, city guide sites

Comparison question: give two links and they need to decide which one answers the question. (Which site contains Politics section?)


Focus on searching skills. Students need to find a site that contains answer to
question. Links provided sometimes, if they need a sample site.

English @ work Passport to Cyberspace
Easy level highlights search term and provides link to site. Medium difficulty provides search terms and Hard provides no help at all. Hunts change every two months. Previous hunts available.

Internet Search techniques
Nice. Answer link provides saved? (on the fly?) search page and draws attention to the search terms used.

Internet Hunt Assignment
Participants keep a log of the process and their individual experiences

Select a Decade
Working in groups, students research a particular decade finding evidence, examples for various categories: clothing, music, books published, paintings, scientists, etc. Could be adapted for country profiles as well.

GUIDED from selection of URLS:
Students are provided with several web sites (top of page) need to find answers to questions that follow. Advantage is that students have to think about the titles/nature of the sites beforehand (and after they open) and decide whether a particular site might contain the type of information requested.
selection of sites

Internet-Based Treasure Hunt on African Americans
Selection of sites with summative question at the end

Black History Treasure Hunts
selection of sites

selection of sites, follow-up activity

Egypt Scavenger hunt combined with crossword puzzle

GUDIED w DISCRETE LINKS for each item:
Students provided with web site that contains answer. Need to skim/scan or follow site links to discover answer. Advantage is that students don't waste time searching for pages when building searching skill is not really the objective (or get distracted with other pages!).

Superlatives Internet Treasure Hunt
Grammar focus (most I've found are content-based)

Pot-pourri developed for middle school students touring university language center

Multimedia Resources: developed for workshop to familiarize faculty with www and local university resources

George Washington Internet Treasure Hunt for ESL students
Questions target a "visit" to various room in Mount Vernon Mansion page.

Newsroom literacy
links to hints and answers

Canadian Treasure Hunt
Combines treasure hunt with word puzzle. The second letter of the answer to each item forms clue to discover the name of the mystery city.

Poetry Scavenger Hunt
Read the poem and answer the question. Questions target finding rhyming words, interpretation, personal connections to poems.

Science and Innovation (Library of Congress American Memory)
Goal is to immerse students in the primary source collection of the Library of Congress American Memory documents. Provides guidelines on how to analyze images, audio and text.

Animals of the World
With links, some direct, some search site. Uses map as worksheet - students not only have to know name of country but also locate country on map worksheet and write name of animal in country.

Museum Mania
links per item, web form worksheet, email submission


Internet Treasure Hunts for ESL Students

ESL Treasure Hunts

English @ work Passport to Cyberspace
Easy level highlights search term and provides link to site. Medium difficulty provides search terms and Hard provides no help at all. Hunts change every two months. Previous hunts available.

Museum Mania
collection of treasure hunts

Internet Treasure hunts for students

Activity Formats

Ian Brown (Australian Pacific College, ITESLJ)

Spartanberg District 3 Schools

Scavenger Hunt on Scavenger Hunts
collection of links

Create a Scavenger Hunt: Connected Classroom

are more in-depth exploration activity

Info Gathering Web Quests

Developing the Web Quest Strategy