Fun is Not a Four Letter Word — Another Entry about using the QR Code Scavenger Hunt

Freshmen students during their QR Code Scavenger Hunt on Shakespeare's Life and Times

Freshmen students during their QR Code Scavenger Hunt on Shakespeare’s Life and Times

The hallway is our classroom.

The hallway is our classroom.

So, here’s my dirty little secret: I secretly envy those teachers who have perfectly straight rows, neatly arranged rooms with nothing out of place, and really quiet students. These are the kind of teachers who are strict disciplinarians…the kind of teachers whose kids don’t even breathe without permission. Sometimes I wish, even if only for a day, I could be one of those people. I might even daydream about military style behavior and a quiet-as-a-pin-drop room, but that’s not me, and that’s not my room. It’s way too difficult to establish the military-style regime, and it is way to hard to be a witch all day long. It takes so much more energy to be negative, or to be overbearing.

Students using QR codes and iPads to research Shakespeare

Students using QR codes and iPads to research Shakespeare

Discussing the Research with no help from the teacher

Discussing the Research with no help from the teacher

In my room, we yell. We get so bent out of shape about what we’re reading that we debate; we reason; we get excited (but we do not yell at the children). In my room, we laugh. We laugh to forget; we laugh at how difficult some questions are; we laugh at comedic works (and at difficult works when we don’t understand them, or at texts with Freudian slips); we laugh at a crazy lady teacher. In my room, we sometimes get “off task.” Students inquire, and we use those moments to teach about real life (you know…the kind that’s not standards-based).

In my room, we have fun.

Short-sustained research you say?  Nailed it.

Short-sustained research you say? Nailed it.

Teacher said, "Use thy phone for good and not evil."

Teacher said, “Use thy phone for good and not evil.”

Fun is not a four letter word. This week I made a QR code scavenger hunt to help students learn about Shakespeare, his time period, and The Globe Theatre. You can read my other post about QR Codes, but here is a very simple step-by-step method for creating a QR Code Scavenger Hunt:

1. Know your topic and identify what kind of factual knowledge you want your students to learn about.

2. Find your resources online.

3. Write a note-taking guide / question prompts for each fact or source. I number my guide according to each resource, so students find source 2 to answer question 2, find source 14 to answer question 14, etc. I like using a variety of articles, videos, interactive websites, infographics, pictures, etc.

Note-taking Guide for Shakespeare's Life and Times QR Code Scavenger Hunt

Note-taking Guide for Shakespeare’s Life and Times QR Code Scavenger Hunt

4. Generate QR Codes for each source and number them in a word document. Put one on each page. I use Go QR Me because it’s free and easy to use!

Example QR Code Sheet from our Scavenger Hunt

Example QR Code Sheet from our Scavenger Hunt

5. Make copies.

6. Find a place to do your scavenger hunt. I use the hallways in my school, but you could do one outside or in a media center or even in a classroom. Post your QR code stations…aka hide them!

QR Code Sheet Clues were hidden all around the school

QR Code Sheet Clues were hidden all around the school

They got "sent out of class" and love it!

They got “sent out of class” and love it!

7. During class, give out your note-taking guide and set forth rules and expectations (see my suggested rules list below). I used groups of three, and each group received a school iPad, and it worked out where each group also had at least one smart phone. I told mine that if I received any complaint about any team from a teacher or administrator that I would deduct ten points per incident from their grade, but I never had the first discipline issue because they were so engaged.

Yes, this is okay.  Let them move.

Yes, this is okay. Let them move.

8. Make them find each station, scan the QR code, and figure out the answer to each question prompt using the note-taking guide. Like I said, I correspond the question number to the station number.

Every student engaged!

Every student engaged!

9. The first team to get all the answers right and meet at a designated spot wins. (I had mine turn them in to my student teacher.) I’m not one of those kind of people who think that competition is bad or everyone should get a prize. Competition is fun, real-world based, and only one team gets a prize. Our winners received Chick-fil-a biscuits.

Competition can sometimes drive learning!

Competition can sometimes drive learning!  This is the winning team handing in their papers to my student teacher.

10. Have a debriefing session and discuss what they’ve learned today. I took my students’ papers from them to see what they remembered, and I was really impressed to see what all they had learned.

BYOT...Bring your own thinking!

BYOT…Bring your own thinking!

This type of activity is so much fun, and can easily be adapted to any subject or grade level. It is also very engaging for kinesthetic learners.

Suggested Scavenger Hunt Rules:

1. No running.

2. The whole team must stay together at all times.

3. No yelling in the hallway.

4. Talk only to your own team.

5. Be kind to your technology.

Desk-free, collaborating, technology-using, moving around kind of instruction

Desk-free, collaborating, technology-using, moving around kind of instruction

 

6.  The first team finished wit the most correct answers, wins!

And the teacher said LEARN.

And the teacher said LEARN.

See the smiles?

See the smiles?

One thought on “Fun is Not a Four Letter Word — Another Entry about using the QR Code Scavenger Hunt

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