Earlier this month, as part of our new Intensive General English summer programme, the course participants at our Westcroft Square Centre took part in a Scavenger Hunt. A Scavenger Hunt is a game, usually played outside, in which the players, who are often divided into teams, have to collect a number of miscellaneous objects. Scavenger Hunts are often used by companies as team-building exercises because they encourage communication and planning. The London School of English Scavenger Hunt took place in Stamford brook which is where our Westcroft square centre is located.
The Hunt was part of the afternoon programme and over the course of the week the students learned some information about Stamford Brook and the local area. This included looking at some historical facts about how the area developed, finding out about the shops and amenities available, as well as learning some unusual facts about the area, such as celebrities who were born here.
Following this, the students learned the rules of the hunt and which were basically that, each class was one team ( although they could split up into three groups to cover the whole area) and the students had 1 hour to go out into the local area and find as many items as possible on their list. There were around 50 items with different points depending on how hard the items were to find. Easy things to find scored lower points, while very difficult things scored much higher points. Teams were deducted points if they were late back to the school after the hunt.
As part of Thursday’s afternoon lesson, the students were given the list of items and they spent some time planning what they were going to find and who would go in which direction. It was impossible to get everything on the list so the students had to prioritise and really focus on the items which would bring them a higher point’s return. The students then went out to find the items which involved taking pictures, collecting information and objects; and interacting with local shopkeepers and residents to obtain the things on the list. Thankfully, it was a lovely sunny day and the students set off in groups to gather the answers.
One hour later they returned to their classrooms with a variety of random objects, pictures and pieces of information. Items they collected included but were not limited to; a carrier bag, a business card from a local resident, a lollipop stick, a Christmas card, a teabag, a plastic fork, a takeaway menu, an inflated balloon and lots of pictures and information. The class trainers took a record of the scores but didn’t inform the students of how well they had done.
The next day on the Friday, the students reflected on how they performed and exchanged stories about conversations they had had with members of the public and shopkeepers and showed each other the photos they had taken. For the last part of the lesson, the whole school met in the student lounge for the prize giving ceremony. The results were announced from the bottom up and Douglas’ class were declared the winners. Each class member received a prize and they were given a generous round of applause.
Overall, the Scavenger Hunt was a really enjoyable event which allowed the students to practice their English with each other as well as native speakers. In addition, the students became more familiar with the local area and the businesses, shops and places of interest around the school. It was a great success and we look forward to next year when we can do it all over again.
to take part (phr. v.) – to join in or be involved in an activity – to participate
a scavenger (n.) – someone who searches through things that other people do not want for food or useful objects
miscellaneous (adj.) – describes a set of many different things or people who do not seem to be connected with each other
over the course of the week (phr.) – from the beginning to the end of the week
amenities (n.) – things in an area that make a place comfortable or easy to live in
deducted (v.) - taken away from an amount or part from a total - subtracted
to prioritise (v.) - to deal with one thing before another, because it is the most important
a higher points return (phr.) – receiving more points than something else
to set off (phr. v.) – begin a journey
to gather (v.) – to collect
declared (v.) – stated something officially or in public
round of applause (phr.) – a short period of clapping
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