Saturday, February 6, 2016

5 Steps for a Google Images Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts do so much for keeping kids engaged. They provide movement, choice, problem solving, sharing, communication of ideas, and justification of choices.


As a history teacher, I have my students do scavenger hunts to learn about interpretation of evidence, looking for the past in the present, and different research prompts to practice answering questions, evidence selection, and Internet responsible use.

Here are the steps we usually follow to integrate mobile technology. 

1. Topic

Choose a topic or give your students a list of options. The topic of this scavenger hunt is innovations in U.S. history. It's important that if you consider themes when determining the best topics.

Also, think about the potential keywords that students will likely use to search Google Images. This activity is an example of vocabulary application.


2. Specific Sites

It's about more than the images. Students need to gain some background on the source of the image. This is a great opportunity to practice evaluation of websites.

I have students write one-sentence summaries like a caption for the images they choose. This means they have something to present and contribute when we look at the images as a class (step 5).


3. Save to Device

Believe it or not, this is one of those steps that make me miss 1:1 Chromebooks. It's amazing to me how many people do not know how to save images to their device. Most mobile devices only require you to touch and hold an image to open a list of options.

TIP: Find students who know how to use certain devices and put them to work helping their peers. Students love to help.


4. Share

We use Google Drive, but there are other options if you'd prefer. 

The nice thing about Drive is the slideshow that opens when you click on an image. We project it on the front board and discuss the findings.


5. Present

The powerful thing about the scavenger hunt format is the engagement students experience from explaining their choices. This really is the most important step in the activity because it provides students the opportunity to articulate a rationale.


Activity Ideas

Math of Objects -- Students find certain shaped objects, relative sizes, estimated costs, age, etc.

Something that reminds you of ....

Technology before and after the Industrial Revolution (around the school, at home, online)

Thermal, chemical, and mechanical changes

Research prompts (open ended allow students to come up with more variety)

If you have an activity idea or suggestion, please tell us about it in the comments below.