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Back To School Scavenger Hunt

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Keywords: Gingerbread Man, scavenger hunt, whole group, school building
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Social Studies, Early Learning, Social Skills
Grades K through 2
School: Emek Hebrew Academy, Sherman Oaks, CA
Planned By: Seema Gersten
Original Author: Seema Gersten, Sherman Oaks
To help students get accustomed to the new school
To help students locate where the nurses office is, the school library, the gym, the nearest water fountain the nearest bathroom etc.
1 copy of The Gingerbread Man.
Paper and markers to write the clues.
A "class treasure" to be found at the end of the scavenger hunt.
Prepare clues and hide them in various locations around the school building. I like to write the clues on tan paper gingerbread man cut-outs. I put the clues in sealed envelopes with a note outside that says: For Mrs. Gersten's Class From the Gingerbread Man!
Here are some sample clues:
You will find me in a special room where you may borrow books (library).
I am so thirsty I went to get a drink of cold water. (water fountain) Now I am getting hungry where can I eat my lunch? (lunchroom) Uh Oh my tummy hurts who should I see If my tummy hurts? (the nurse!) The nurse says maybe I should try to use the toilet.(bathroom) Hey I feel better now I want to run around a little and try out the swings (playground) I want to draw a picture for my mom where will I find some crayons and paper? (our classroom)
Gather the children on the rug and begin reading The Gingerbread Man. At some point STOP and say: "The little old woman and the Little Old Man ran after the Gingerbread man but he was too fast and he got away! But, Guess what? The Gingerbread Man left us a note so we can go find him!"
Read the first clue to the children:
Clue One: Ha Ha! You can try to catch me but the little old woman and the little old man couldn't catch me! I am so thirsty from all that running. I wonder where I can get a cold drink of water?!"
Where could that be? Let the children guess... When someone says "waterfountain" lead the class out to the waterfountain and have one child take down the second clue... and read it to the class: "Well, I was here but now I'm gone... i am so hungry I wonder where I can go to eat some lunch... Again encourage the children to guess and then head over to the school lunchroom! Ask another child to take down clue number three... Keep going until you find the TREASURE!!!
The note can read "well, I am so tired from all that running I need to take a nap. Sorry, you didn't catch me but I am leaving you a special treasure instead:
The treasure can be:
A basket of gingersnap cookies and cold milk for a special yummy class snack.
All the ingredients for baking gingerbread cookies with the children for a special activity.
A basket of gingerbread men cookies that the children can frost and decorate...
Use your imagination and come up with your own special class treasure. Your children will have an absolute
B-L-A-S-T learning to locate important places around the school. This has always been a big hit with the incoming Kindergartners... Have FUN!

Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Use the camera to create special passes for children to wear when they leave the classroom. For example If the child is going to the nurse s/he can wear a laminated photo of the school nurse around his/her neck.
Create a school map and use photographs for different locations in the school building.
Create a class book called Our School is Special using the real photographs instead of illustrations.
Materials: Web Page, Camera Bags, Yearbook