Scavanger hunt- educational location based game

Scavanger hunt in school education

Karolina Szurek 

During my Erasmus+ mobilities (Assen, Lisbon) and the course in Brussels I have learned about methods and tools used in out of classroom education. Theses methods I have included in my practice as a school teacher and as a museum educaton in Chopin Birthplace Zelazowa Wola).
I developed a particular type of locacion based game (Polish: gra terenowa) with elements of LARP and scavanger.
fot. Małgorzata Kazur, Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina


To prepare a scavanger hunt you have to define:

  • a defined, safe, closed location
  • how many teachers or animators you can engage
  • what is the subject of the game
  • what will the participants have to collect (points, items)
  • into how many teams the group will be split
  • the skills and capabilities of the group (physical, technological, educational)

To be prepared:

  • maps of the site with the spots marked
  • items and gadgets to be placed in the spots
  • printed instructions for each group, with tasks for every spot
  • scoring system
From my experience the optimal number of teams is 4 and the optimal number of players in each group is from 3 to 8.
It is important to make the game dynamic and diversified. If you are the only educator or educators are few I suggest using smartphones by the team. I recommend the following types of tasks:

The  players have to perform a task in a defined location (a dance, a pantomime, measuring or observing something). One pupils films the task with his smartphone camera. In the nearest spot supported by an animator the pupils shows the video. This kind of task enables us to include an element of physical activity.


We may place sheets, labels or tables with tasks, also instruments, gadgets etc. Instead if taking them the pupils can make a photo. For exaple to place some items in a proper order, to write something. At the end of the game the photos are checked by the animator.

QR codes
Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania QR Droid Code Scanner (Polski)QR codes placed in spots (like trees, benches) enable us to use online materials (YT, websites). In my game after scanning the code pupils had to watch the video of a pianist performing Chopin's music. The task was to memorize the pianist's name and to imitate his performance in a pantomime.

We may also make ourselves a video or ask a colleague to record something: a puzzle, a performance, a lecture. We may also include characters via videos and QR codes.

Timer (alarm clock)

An ordinary kitchen timer helps to add some dynamics and speed to the game. We set the timer for 8-10 minutes and give it to the team . If they perform two tasks in that time they  skip the next task or get additional points.

Text based puzzles

This method is useful when the subject of the game is literature, bothanics or history. We give the participants a text to read where some letters are missing . They have to guess the letters and make a word.


The benefits of this teaching style are:

- the possibility of spending the time with pupils out of doors
- students are active and make research 
- usinge the strenghts of teenagers: teamwork, using smartphones
- competition
- using an attractive location 


- the preparation takes a lot of tie
- many factors are to be foreseen