Monday, April 10, 2017

Inquiring Minds Want to Know! QR Scavenger Hunt

Last year I created a QR code scavenger hunt as a way to engage a small group of students in reading. I wasn’t quite sure where this would lead me, but I knew we needed to increase to energy and investment to the topic during our time together.

The whole project started when we read a short book about Jane Goodall. While the book contained great information, I wanted my students to learn more about Jane while working on comprehending beyond what was directly stated in text. I wanted them to infer MORE about Jane and her travels to Africa to study chimpanzees. I wanted them to take ownership of learning about her experiences instead of ‘memorizing’ or ‘trying to remember’ the facts they had just read.

So the QR code scavenger hunt was created. Over the course of a week the students scanned QR codes which lead them to different videos, photo galleries, and articles (suitable for their reading level) about Jane. Their inquiry question was: What evidence show successes or difficulties Jane experienced while studying chimpanzees? It took teacher modeling and guided practice together with a couple of the sites, but by the third and fourth day they were observing and writing evidence on their own.

What a proud moment for them! Here was a group of 2nd graders independently wanting to learn more about Jane and her work and thinking beyond what they saw, heard, and read to infer successes and difficulties she experienced while studying the chimpanzees. They had to sift through the information gained from the web resources and critically think about if it supported the overarching question. To conclude their work, the students made short newscasts, with support, to share their learning with each other and me using TouchCast.

This year I have worked with and provided learning opportunities for teachers to create their own QR scavenger hunts. One example is a collaboration with two 4th grade teachers to create a scavenger hunt to support the question, “How did Early Californians use the resources of the land to survive?” Students worked in partners to explore ways the early Californians used resources for their tools, shelter, food, and clothing in the various regions of California. Again, success was had with students being engaged and taking ownership of their learning!

Here are the big take-aways from these projects and terrific evidence on why I’ll continue to use, and promote use of, QR code scavenger hunts.


*Authentically collaborated with each other
*Focused on using evidence from the web sources in their writing
*Independently took control of their task for each day
*Asked questions of me and each other while investigating the web sources
*Reached the ultimate objective: Synthesizing information from multiple sources (thinking on and beyond the text and sources).

Ready to make one? All materials can be viewed and downloaded by scanning the QR codes in this document!

Click here for a printer friendly version of how to create QR codes with the url shortener.

Christi Bangsund
Chico Unified Staff Development
Google Certified Trainer
Chico, CA

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