English Scavenger Hunt! ESL Activity

ESL Activity: English Scavenger Hunt

My Elementary/Junior High school recently held a 3-day ‘English Camp.’ As the final activity on the last day, we organized a scavenger hunt game. The kids really enjoyed it. The students were Japanese Jr. High school students. We also did a similar scavenger hunt (with easier questions) with grade 5 & 6 students. Students need to be able to read to do this activity.

There are several ways to run a scavenger hunt. Some can be pretty complicated and require students to retrieve physical objects. We chose to have our students hunt around for answers to questions. Our scavenger hunt outline is below. Hopefully it will give you some ideas on how to run a fun scavenger hunt at your school.

Scavenger Hunt Activity Requirements:

  • 45 minutes – 1.5 hours of class time (depending on how many clues you have)
  • a large area (the whole school if possible) for the kids to hunt for answers in

Scavenger Hunt Activity Execution:

Firstly, beforehand, make a page with questions (missions) on it (see below for examples). Some of the question will require that you, the organizer, hide things in certain areas beforehand (e.g. beans under a tree that students can retrieve). For most questions in our game, we decided to have students run around and get information to write on an answer sheet (e.g. the number of clocks on a floor). Each group had one secretary who wrote down the answers.

Next, in class, divide the students into small groups of roughly even ability. Explain the idea of a scavenger hunt. Give each group one answer sheet. Tell them that some questions are worth more than others (some of the more difficult questions were worth more in our game). Tell them that they must try to get the answers to as many questions as possible. Lastly, tell them they must come back to the room at a specific time (about 10 minutes before the end of class). Let them go.

After they return, check the answers on the board and count the points of each group. The group with the most points wins the scavenger hunt game.

Note: In order to avoid all groups starting at the first question on the first page and then following each other around, we gave some groups a question sheet with the questions in a different order. This way, they all started on different questions.

Below is the answer sheet containing the questions we used. It should give you some ideas. Good luck!

Matthew Barton / Englishcurrent.com

Answer Sheet

Scavenger Hunt – Page 1

A) Go to the computer room
Find the population of Mexico.
Answer: _____________
N) Go to the computer room
Find the capital of Colombia.
Answer: _____________
B)Go to the library.
In the English section, there is a book called “Far East Stories”.
What page is the picture “The Stone Lion Fills the Bucket?”
Answer: _____________ (2 points)
O) Go to the library.
In the English section, there is a book called “Expo ‘70”.
What was the theme of Canada?
Answer: _____________(2 points)
C) What is Mr. Takahashi good at?
Answer: _____________
P) What American state has Katka lived in?
Answer: _____________
D) Go to the first floor.
Find Yuina Hama’s picture.
Look for a blue clue behind the picture.
Answer the question.
Answer: _____________
Q) Go to the soccer court.
Look under the sakura tree.
Get three beans.
E) Go to the 4th grade room.
Look on the teacher’s chair.
Answer the question.
Answer: _____________
R) Go to the garden.
How many corn plants are there?
Answer: _____________


Scavenger Hunt – Page 2

F) How long has Mr. Barton been living in Prague?
Answer: _____________
S) Go to the Junior High 1st grade room.
Find a clue under one of the sofa chairs for a clue.
Answer: _____________
G) What is the school’s phone number?
Answer: _____________
T) From the Junior High 1st grade room.
Go to the door.
Turn left.
Go straight.
Turn right at the MAP.
What is the biggest green island in the middle of the city?
Answer: _____________ (4 points)
H) Solve the riddle:
“I live in Africa
I am fast
I am a bird.
But.. I can’t fly.
Who am I?
Answer: _____________ (3 points)
U) Solve the riddle:
How many letters are in the word “alphabet?”
Answer: _____________ (3 points)
I) How many desks are in the teacher’s office?
Answer: _____________
V) Go outside.
How many stairs are in front of the school?
Answer: _____________


Scavenger Hunt – Page 3

J) How many puppets are in the hall on the 1st floor?
Answer: _____________
W) How many clocks are in the school hallways?
Answer: _____________
K) Go to the second floor.
Look in the wooden house.
Find the orange clue.
Answer the question.
Answer: _____________ (2 points)
X) Look in a dictionary.
What does the word ふくさよう mean in English?
Answer: _____________
L) Go to the 6th grade room.
What is Hikaru’s favorite anime?
Answer: _____________
Y) Go to the 6th grade room.
What food does Sota like?
Answer: _____________
M) Go to the 3rd grade room.
Find a yellow clue. Answer the question.
Answer: _____________
Z) Solve the riddle:
What always sleeps with shoes on?
Answer: _____________ (4 points)

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6 comments on “English Scavenger Hunt! ESL Activity

  1. broomfieldbill (Posted on 8-27-2012 at 03:55) Reply

    For whatever it’s worth…the country of ColOmbia is spelled with two “o’s.” Most people from the rest of the world spell it “ColUmbia.” Besides that one super minor detail..GREAT IDEA..THANKS!!!

  2. mb Post author (Posted on 8-27-2012 at 08:39) Reply

    thanks! I updated the spelling.

  3. Carolina (Posted on 9-24-2014 at 22:45) Reply

    I’m from COLOMBIA! and it’s not spelt with 2 o’s!!


    Columbia is in USA !

    1. Joy (Posted on 12-11-2014 at 08:13) Reply

      ColOmbia is a COUNTRY in South America.
      ColUmbia is in the US.

    2. Shantell (Posted on 3-4-2019 at 18:32) Reply

      Uh, I counted 2 o’s in Colombia.

  4. Andrea (Posted on 3-9-2015 at 14:33) Reply

    thanks for so many cool ideas!

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