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How to Create a Textbook Scavenger Hunt

Teachers can create the textbook scavenger hunt list for fun or education.
hand drawing image by Christopher Hall from Fotolia.com

A textbook scavenger hunt is an interactive educational exercise in which participants attempt to find references or answers to questions in a textbook. Teachers can use this activity to acquaint students with new materials, strengthen academic skills or refresh everyone on what has previously been taught in the classroom. Like any scavenger hunt, this experience can take place in teams or as individuals. The end of the game can be gauged by time, achievement or an accumulation of points attributed to each item on the list. This activity also can be used simply as a required homework assignment.

Announce the purpose for the textbook scavenger hunt, considering if participants will primarily be taking part in an educational exercise or a fun competition among their peers.

Give all the students copies of the textbook and choose the textbook materials for the activity.

Write and print copies of the list of items players need to find, factoring in the time it will take for them to achieve this. Make use of the glossary and table of contents, as well as information that will have to be found by flipping through the textbook. Ask questions that range from the obvious to the obscure, such as "Find the chapter and page number where Italy is first mentioned." or "Name the photographer who has the most photo credits throughout the book."

Tell students how you will gauge their success in this activity. Use a grading system if it is a homework assignment or assign points to each item on the list if it is a class competition.

Communicate any instructions and information on how much time students have to complete the task. Assign individuals to work alone or in teams.

Review the answers with your students when they are done, asking how they specifically found the information. Take note of how well they utilized the different features of the textbook.

Things You'll Need:

  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Textbook


Some students might need to be taught how to use the index, table of contents or glossary.

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