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At the end of the research phase, students were required to produce an essay introducing the mystery and answering the five key questions they settled upon as being the most important to solve. The standardised markscheme, which is provided to students in advance, gives specific credit to students who show evidence of wider research - which leads us to the Treasure Hunt...
With students just about to start their essay assignment, a series of 20 codes were hidden in random locations around the school. These were created using the Classtools QR Treasure Hunt Generator.
Students were put into small teams: each of these teams contained at least one person owned a mobile device (e.g. phone, IPod Touch) which could decode the QR codes (note: an internet connection is not required - the QR codes decode as text files).
Each code, when 'read' by the mobile device, turned into a quiz question relating to the study topic. Some of these tested (and so consolidated) existing knowledge; some of them required further research to obtain the answer.
In breaktimes over a two-day period, the teams of students hunted around for the codes, copied down the numbered questions as each one was decoded, and then researched and recorded the answers. The completed answer sheets were then handed in at the end of the school week and the team with the most correct questions and answers was awarded a prize.
The following week, the sheets were photocopied and returned to the members of the teams. Each student could then use the fresh information they had gathered in the Treasure Hunt to develop their essay project in more depth.
The Treasure Hunt was a real success - no lesson time was taken up by the activity, and it provided the students with a fun bit of exercise in their breaktimes over the two day period. I will definitely be trying it again (but not too soon with the same year group - I don't want to kill the 'novelty' factor!). Here are 5 tips to close with:
Create your own activity using the Classtools QR Treasure Hunt Generator.
Events (200 years ago today): 1818 - The case of Ashford v Thornton ends, with Abraham Thornton allowed to go free rather than face a retrial for murder, after his demand for trial by battle is upheld.
Events (100 years ago today): 1918 - Manfred von Richthofen, a.k.a. The Red Baron, shoots down his 79th and 80th victims, his final victories before his death the following day.
Events (50 years ago today): 1968 - English politician Enoch Powell makes his controversial Rivers of Blood speech.
Births (300 years ago today): 1718 - David Brainerd, American missionary (d. 1747)
Births (200 years ago today): 1818 - Heinrich Göbel, German-American mechanic and engineer (d. 1893)
Births (100 years ago today): 1918 - Kai Siegbahn, Swedish physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2007)
Births (50 years ago today): 1968 - Yelena Välbe, Russian skier and manager
Deaths (100 years ago today): 1918 - Karl Ferdinand Braun, German-American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1850)
Deaths (50 years ago today): 1968 - Rudolph Dirks, German-American illustrator (b. 1877)
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