Scavenger hunts for reading? Oh yeah! | Mentoring in the Middle

Scavenger hunts for reading? Oh yeah!

So, a little back story here.  Last year, for the first time in four years, I taught students who were identified as struggling with reading.  And I noticed something about them.  Not all of them, but a lot of them.  They just seemed to like working with their hands more than reading.  These were kiddos who loved to race dirt bikes, or could take apart motors, or loved to draw.  What struck me about them was how much one of their learning strengths was based on tactile intelligence.  Now, again, this wasn't all of them, but it sure stuck out to me.

When I needed to work additionally with some kids during an open period, and they saw the workbook I was given to use with them, they groaned.  So we put it aside and started creating interactive notebooks.  They loved them!  Something about cutting and pasting really made them happy.  And they were getting what they needed to learn, so why not?

And that got me to thinking.  Would there be a way for these kids to learn comprehension skills by doing first, BEFORE reading?  So a couple of weeks ago, I came up with a Scavenger Hunt for Cause and Effect. It's the first one of a couple like this that I'd like to create.   Here it is.
My plan is that working collaboratively, kids roam around the school - or around your room or a smaller area if you don't want them to get too far from your gaze - yeah, we've all had those kids you won't send out of your room without supervision! Would finding REAL WORLD causes and effects (push the button on the big silver box and water comes out of the little tube-thingy) help them make the transition to the printed word?              
The lesson includes some graphic organizers to help them, a short written piece where they evaluate what they've seen, and then this one-page article about the Dust Bowl that I wrote, with lots of Causes and Effects included.  Here's what the teacher copy of the article looks like.  
So, what do you think?  Is this something that makes sense?  You can find it at my TpT or TN stores, but I'm always happy to give you a free copy in exchange for feedback and you following my store.  Are you interested?  Let me know, give me your email and I'll send you one.

Have a great day!


  1. Yes-I love this idea. I am a resource English teacher and always welcome new ideas to get them up and moving around, while still getting their work done. Please email me and I'll give it a try.
    Thanks so much!
    Please include your blog name on it so I don't forget where it came from.

  2. Love this! My 5th graders last year really struggled with cause and effect. And now, I'll have them again as 6th graders in ELA. This would be a great reinforcement activity for my 6th-8th graders next year!

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I'm so glad you can use this. Just give me your email (you can email me at: or just reply here and I'll make sure you get it.

  3. Marion, I nominated you for the Liebster award. To learn about accepting the award, please visit

    Love your blog!


  4. I love this idea. Can't wait to use it in my classroom next year. And by the way....

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  5. This makes so much sense....... And I know it is what I need to do with my group coming in August.

  6. Cute idea with the scavenger hunt! I bet your kiddos will have a blast with that. :)

    Caffeine and Lesson Plans

  7. I nominated you for a Liebster Award. Check out the info here!

  8. I love that you connect learning to the real world. That is so important! Also, kudos for you for recognizing that your students need to learn in a different way and adjusting your instruction. :)

    By the way, did you know that you are a “no reply blogger?” This means that when you leave a comment on another blog, the blogger can’t reply to you via email. You can visit and click on “Techy Tips” if you want to fix that.

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  9. I love this idea and would love to know how to get a copy. I am teaching 6th grade for the first time in over ten years. Any suggestions you could send my way would be greatly appreciated.

    1. If you're reading this again, please send me an email where I can be in touch with you - I couldn't find a way to be in touch with you.