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Scavenger Hunts and Adventure Challenges

Updated June 28th, 2023

This year I looked for a fresh perspective on how to best implement the Adventure Challenges unit in the PYP. After discussing the upcoming unit with my PE colleague, we landed on teaching the skills of communication, teamwork, and problem solving with an emphasis on scavenger hunts. In one (of the two) weekly lessons we planned to focus on team-building activities, and the other lesson would be dedicated to students learning, completing, and reflecting on the scavenger hunt challenges in small groups.

I wanted students to experience different types of scavenger hunts to provide students with opportunities to overcome various challenges. This also increased the variety of roles they would need to take on in their small groups.  


The first scavenger hunt had students finding items around the gym and field relating to Colors and Senses.


The second scavenger hunt had a fitness focus. Students, with their group, had a star-shaped sheet with a variety of fitness challenges. When they completed one challenge together they would sign that section of the star until it is all completed. Each group had to finish the activities together and use strategies to stay on task, managing the time. (ATL)

Fitness Scavenger Hunt.jpg

The third scavenger hunt challenge was a treasure hunt. Using an initial clue, with their group, students had to decipher the meaning of the message and be led to a location where a ‘letter’ was waiting with another clue. When students collected all the letters they needed to unscramble them and spell the word correctly. In this case the word was “reflective”.

Master Copy1.jpeg
Master Copy2.jpeg

Summative Assessments

G3/4 - For the final day, students completed a final mini-scavenger hunt of their choosing. Each student decided whether to work through a fitness, specific topic, or treasure scavenger hunt depending on their interest. A final reflection was completed on Seesaw that allowed students to demonstrate their understanding of teamwork during the scavenger hunts, the ATL skills, and the Learner Profiles for this unit, Caring and Communication.


G5/6 - As my oldest PYP classes, I challenged them to create their own scavenger hunt on Seesaw, using aspects they enjoyed from the class activities. After creating their own, they peer-assessed a partner’s scavenger hunt by trying to complete it and providing feedback. Each student had a final opportunity to make changes before another student would complete their scavenger hunt for a final time. Afterward, they used Seesaw to reflect on the challenges faced during the creation process and the successes they had throughout the unit. 

2023 Summative Reflection

After revisiting this unit at my new school, and making connection to the class teacher's unit of inquiry, I decided on students completing a self-reflection instead at the end of the unit. This reflection would have students look at their changed understanding of teamwork and what it means to be an explorer. I felt using the last lesson to revisit games and experiences already learned, and reflecting on their scavenger hunts fit in better with the unit of inquiry.

ATL Skills Reflection


I made one ATL skill from each cluster a focus in this unit. Through gym displays with ATL guiding questions and daily reflection on how they used the skills in the lesson, I noticed good progress and increasingly detailed responses to my questions as the unit progressed.


Thoughts, questions, concerns? Send me an email or message on twitter @tannernickel., I am always looking for ideas and ways to improve my inquiry teaching.

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