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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 (100 years ago today): 1917 - World War I: The U.S. ambassador Walter Hines Page to the United Kingdom is given the Zimmermann Telegram, in which Germany pledges to ensure the return of New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona to Mexico if Mexico declares war on the United States.
Births (250 years ago today): 1767 - Rama II of Siam (d. 1824)
Births (50 years ago today): 1967 - Brian Schmidt, Australian astrophysicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
Commemorations:Estonia National Day
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