Name/Title: Nature Scavenger Hunt with Pedometers

Academic content: Science, Math

Purpose of Event: To integrate the classroom study of plants/soil/rocks within a physical education classroom.

Prerequisites: Students have been studying plants/soil/rocks in their classroom. They are able to recognize various types of plants, rocks and soil, as well as the parts of plants. Students are also aware of the various locomotor skills that can be used for traveling.

Suggested Grade Level: 2-5

Materials Needed: scavenger hunt worksheet, clipboard and pencil for each group; pedometer for each student

Physical activity: Locomotor Skills

Description of Idea

1. Introduce/instruct the students on the value of pedometers.
2. Demonstrate how to use the pedometer and give the students some short practice time to experiment.
3. Divide the students into small groups (4-5) and give each group a scavenger hunt worksheet. Students will use their knowledge of plants/rocks/soil to find items listed on the scavenger hunt worksheet.
4. Review all of the items on the list that they are to find.
5. Students are to use a different type of locomotor skill as they travel to each site. Record the skill that was used on the scavenger hunt worksheet.
5. Discuss the boundaries for the hunt outside, if needed.
8. When the list is complete turn in the clipboard and wait for the other groups to finish.
9. Once everyone has finished move back inside and open up the pedometers. Ask students to write down the number of steps on the scavenger hunt worksheet.
10. Use this time to discuss:
* place value;
* estimation (Estimate how many steps that they think they might take during the activity and then have them subtract the actual steps and estimated steps to find out the difference. Have they over estimated or under estimated?);
* addition,subtraction,multiplication, and division; and
* the ability to categorize the objects found (How are they classified?).
11. Track or record steps taken (compare/contrast steps taken between/among activities). (Older students could compute total distance covered over the course of a unit [in miles] or even the average number of steps taken per activity.)


This activity could be modified for any age group by creating a more difficult list of things to find as well as increasing the area used in the search of the items. It can also be modified by telling the students that they must run between each item.

Designate a certain locomotor skill to perform after finding the first object - second object and so on.

Infuse concepts of physical fitness [training heart rate] and technology [distance covered].

Assessment Ideas:

The assessment is on the scavenger hunt worksheet. Did they find all of the objects listed and did they move around to find them?

Teaching Suggestions:

Be sure to identify plants ahead of time that students should stay away from (ie. poison ivy!).

Submitted by Jodi Palmer who teaches at Windermere Elementary School in Upper Arlington, OH. Additional authors for this idea were Jennifer Russ, Second Grade Teacher. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 6/25/2003.
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