Stuck for a lesson idea that keeps students engaged and actively involved in the subject you’re teaching? Try a digital photography scavenger hunt. A digital scavenger hunt can work in almost any classroom and lets students collaborate with peers to apply what they’ve learned in a meaningful way. To find out how to get started, take a look at our guide for creating a photography scavenger hunt lesson plan and assessing it using student-created videos.
Grade and subject recommendations
One advantage of a scavenger hunt is that, with some modification, it can work for almost any grade level or subject. For younger grades, a trip to the playground can reinforce geometric concepts. For older students, a digital scavenger hunt can anchor core concepts in physics or life sciences.
Song: “Miss January” by The Procussions
Here are a few examples of possible scavenger hunt ideas across several different subjects. Students will be able to:
- Life Science: Find and photograph living things according to how they obtain energy and what their trophic level (feeding relationship in a food web) is as in the video above.
- History: Pinpoint historical features in your neighborhood.
- Art/Architecture: Identify specific architectural features in your neighborhood (e.g. types of columns).
- Language Arts/Literacy: Find examples of figures of speech (similes, metaphors, etc.) or examples of real-world grammar mistakes.
- Mathematics: Discover different angles or shapes in the world around you.
- Class trips: Identify specific items found at a class trip site. Depending on the location, students can search for artwork, items of scientific interest, or historically significant locations. Even a trip to a “fun” location, like an amusement park, can turn into a lesson about angles or concepts related to physics.
Session 1: After introducing your scavenger hunt, provide instruction for how to use cameras appropriately. Next, put students into small groups and give them a list of items to find within a set area. Scavenger hunts can take place inside your classroom or involve a larger area, like the playground. Students should find and photograph as many items on the list as possible during the course of the period. But be sure to give students enough time to save their images at the end of class, so they are ready to create their videos during the next session.
Session 2: In their groups, have students produce an Animoto video that labels the images they photographed the day before. If you’d like to be sure students understand the terms they searched for during the scavenger hunt, you can always require that students add captions defining the items in their photos.
After the assignment
Assessment: Videos can be assessed with a simple rubric — take a look at our tips for creating rubrics for videos to get you started.
Videos as learning tools: The digital scavenger hunt videos can be shared during class or posted on your class website to help your students solidify their grasp of the material even further.