Saturday, March 8, 2014

What's Working - QR Code Scavenger Hunt

So my 4th and 5th graders are learning how to describe people. First we learned descriptions with the verb tener. We did a mystery story where we had to guess who stole their teacher's special pencils based on descriptions of people seen in the school after dismissal. Then they wrote their own descriptions and read them to the class to guess.

Now we've added descriptions with the verb ser. Just like with the tener phrases we learned them using Whole Brain Teaching and then they wrote them in their dictionaries. I had several descriptions of people that would have been SUPER easy to just put in a worksheet and have the kids match the description with the picture, but that would have been BOOOORRRING.

So what to do instead?

A scavenger hunt! To liven it up I created a QR Code scavenger hunt. Using the site, I created my quiz, printed off the QR codes and then hid them in the hall. (If you have a room you would just hide them there but since I travel I put them in the 4/5 hallway.) I printed off the answer sheet with the character pictures in color, then slid them into sheet protectors so students could write on them with dry erase markers. Then I set the kids loose in the hall with ipod touches*. The codes were hidden in plain sight on the wall, under tables and on the sides of filing cabinets. If they weren't sure of a word then they could look it up in their dictionaries.


It was a huge hit! The kids were so focused on finding the codes and the answers that they barely realized they were reading Spanish. If you don't happen to have access to ipods or devices with QR code scanners you could easily do this low-tech and hide the picture and have the students walk around with the descriptions.At the end of class, they wiped their sheets cleaned and turned in their ipods. In the next class, we went over the answers as a whole group, checking our answers on the SMART board (if you hide the answers under a disappearing rectangle they will beg to be the one to come up and click it to reveal the correct answer!)

Have you used QR codes in your classroom? My kids loved this activity so I'd love more ideas on how to incorporate them. Share in the comments below!

*On a side note: Our district has technology you can check out from central office, including a set of 20 ipod touches that have the QR code scanner app. We have over 50 schools in our district but apparently only me and one other teacher at my school know this service exists because NO ONE else ever checks out the tech. I literally had a set of flipcams for 3 months because I just kept extending my checkout when I saw no one else had reserved them. The moral of this story is if you are lacking tech at your school ask around and see if your district doesn't have something similar.

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