Fifth Grade Teacher Emma Samuels collaborated with Dave Cresson, the President of the Half Moon Bay History Association, to organize a Half Moon Bay Scavenger Hunt for students. The field trip was featured on the homepage of the Half Moon Bay Review.
“A scavenger hunt is really about adventure education,” said Ms. Samuels. “The point is to get kids to grapple and persevere and struggle. The learning is explicitly designed so that students are put in this place of slight stress, and from that energy comes incredible growth and incredible learning.”
Stops on the scavenger hunt were multi-sensory, asking students to create a skit, write a song, draw something, build something, or compare and contrast. For example, one site along the way said:
“Gaspar de Portola and his men were weak from dysentery and exhaustion, and they rested by this creek before continuing on to Montara. Create a film in which you act out this scene. Make sure you include important information about why they were here and what they were hoping to achieve. Include de Portola, Father Crespi, and other members of the traveling party in your film.”
All activities during the scavenger hunt were designed so that chaperones could be as hands-off as possible. Students collaborated, shared leadership, and solved problems on their own – and they had a great time.
“The most important thing about the scavenger hunt is that it’s incredibly relevant to the kids,” said Ms. Samuels. “They walk past these buildings all the time, and now they’ll have key ideas and turning points in Half Moon Bay history to share with whomever they’d like.”