Many teachers break large groups of students into smaller groups in order to facilitate meaningful learning opportunities in the garden. By designing some activities that a small, supervised group of students can accomplish independently, teachers are able to divide their classes and engage small groups, one at a time, in in-depth scientific investigations while other students experience a more self-directed approach to learning. Toward this end, over the years we have created a good number of scavenger hunts to use in the garden.
Most of these scavenger hunts are in Word format so you can modify them for your needs.
Scavenger hunts allow students to explore the garden with a bit of "direction" and loads of excitement. While searching the garden student's sense of observation is tuned in and often they discover many unintended wonders that the garden provides.
We consider scavenger hunts a Back Pocket Activity that every garden instructor should have ready to share to keep kids easily engaged in the garden.
Life Lab Board Member and Gault School Garden Instructor Susan Dalhgren mentioned that she likes doing scavenger hunts at the beginning of the school year to get to kids acquainted (or re-acquainted) with the garden space. See Susan conducting a scavenger hunt with a group of first graders. She has created picto-graph scavenger hunts (see Fall Garden scavenger hunts) for her students that are still learning to read.