For two years, I was the Technology Specialist at a school in Georgia. During that time, I amassed a large collection of websites that I use with my students. You can download my E-Book of Websites for the Elementary Classroom for free from Teachers Pay Teachers or Smashwords, or, you can check back here each week for the website suggestion.
One of the most popular items in my Teachers Pay Teachers store lately has been my internet scavenger hunts. Some people like them so much that they have been asking to make requests for certain topics. I am hoping to be open to making internet scavenger hunts on demand by August 2014, but right now I’m just a wee bit busy (end of school year, international move etc.) So, instead of a Website Suggestion this week, I thought I would go through the steps I use to make an internet scavenger hunt, in case you wanted to make one yourself.
An internet scavenger hunt is similar to a Web Quest, in that students will use the internet to find information. However, internet scavenger hunts are designed for students to search for specific answers, rather than creating an open ended project. Internet scavenger hunts can be done as a whole class, in small groups, individually and even at home. This versatility makes them so useful for so many different topics. Currently I have only science and social studies topics like Ecology and Economics, but I hope to add some math and literacy scavenger hunts next school year.
1.) Decide what information you want students to know. Internet scavenger hunts are specific, not open ended, so they are great for getting kids to review key facts, dates and concepts. Make a list of exactly what you want them to know and then use those to create a “quiz” of sorts. My internet scavenger hunts generally include a balance of about half open ended short answer questions and half fill in the blank or matching questions.
2.) Next, you need to find websites that students will use to find the answers to the questions you made up in step 1. For this, you should use a variety of very specific sites where students will be guaranteed to find the answers without clicking off of the site and sites that are more general and simply on the correct topic. This gives students the opportunity to truly search while guaranteeing that they will find the correct answers. If you need a starting point for websites, check out my free E-Book called Websites for the Elementary Classroom. I generally start in these “old faithfuls” and then fill in with new sites that I find through Google Searches as needed.
3.) Decide on your format. When I first started making internet scavenger hunts, I only made “Type on Versions”, which meant that I would post the scavenger hunt on Edmodo or another password protected site. Students would then download a copy and save it to their own drives. Students would click on each link and then type in their answers. When I started having downloading issues on Mac etc., I made “PDF Versions” where students would print off their copy and write in the answers while clicking on the links in the actual scavenger hunt. Then, last year, I started teaching with the iPad, so I started creating “QR Code Versions” which allow students to have a printed paper that they write on, but use QR codes to scan and find their websites. (On a side note, I am currently working on updating all of my Internet Scavenger Hunts that are only “Type on Versions” to have all 3 versions available, but it takes a minute. So if there is one you NEED the QR code or PDF code version for, leave me a message in the Q & A on TPT.)
Once you have decided on a format, each format is quite simple. For Type on and PDF versions, you can make the hyperlinks by simply doing INSERT – Hyperlink and copying and pasting the link. For QR Code versions, you can create QR Codes using a QR Code generator like Kaywa.
4.) Share the internet scavenger hunt with your students on Edmodo or print a QR Code version and distribute to the class.
Hope this list will help you create engaging internet scavenger hunts for your own class. If you’re not interested in making your own, please feel free to peruse the 30+ internet scavenger hunts that are available at my TPT store. Also, please feel free to follow my store and receive e-mail updates as I add new internet scavenger hunts to the collection.