Treasure Hunt

In the Treasure Hunt ESL activity, students follow sequential clues created by their classmates.

Students for Treasure Hunt ESL Activity:4+Time for Treasure Hunt ESL Activity:30-45+ mins
Resources for Treasure Hunt ESL Activity:
A4 Paper

Students do this activity in groups of two, three, or four. You will need a piece of blank A4 paper for each group.

  1. Each group prepares a set of eight sequential clues, using the target language. These clues should direct players around the school from one clue to the next, starting in the classroom. Make sure you check students’ work at this point.
  2. Give each group a piece of A4 paper. On one side, they draw a picture. They divide the other side into eight segments and write one clue in each segment.
  3. They cut the paper into the different segments to create the eight separate clues.
  4. When finished, students go and hide their latter seven clues in the appropriate places. Make sure groups go separately so they don’t see each other!
  5. Swap the remaining first clues so that each group has the start of a different treasure hunt.
  6. The groups then race to find the other clues, following the directions given to them. The group that finds all of them (and puts them together correctly) first is the winner.
Target Language

Because of the sequential nature of the clues, the Treasure Hunt ESL activity is particularly suited to practising directions and prepositions of place. The clues should use this language to direct students to the next clue. Give one or two examples at the start to help with this.

The activity is particularly enjoyable for kids. As long as you ensure the language in the clues is appropriate, it can be used with beginner or intermediate classes.

Beginner classes can use basic directions of the form Turn left/right etc., and simple prepositions like under, on etc. Intermediate students should introduce more complex combinations, and even create more cryptic clues involving colour and rhyme.

For a similar activity specifically for younger kids, try Treasure Map.

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