Well, it was inevitable. Take a school full of humans, warm them all up in a heatwave, and you end up with the Spanish teacher down for the weekend with the first cold virus of the school year! I spent the weekend sniffing and coughing, and by Sunday afternoon I was contemplating how the heck to get a CI lesson delivered to a group of freshmen when I could barely talk. I expressed my frustrations and fears to my good pal Carrie Toth and she suggested GooseChase. And it turned out to be a winner!
GooseChase is a scavenger hunt app, free for iOS and android users. In order to create a scavenger hunt, the teacher must first create an account by visiting the GooseChase website. Be sure to visit the education version of the GooseChase site to take full advantage of the benefits for teachers!
Some things you need to know before you get too far: Only 5 teams can play at a time and only ONE active game at a time per account is allowed. If you want more than that, you must upgrade from a free account. For $49 per year, you can have up to 10 teams play a game at a time. You will need tablets or phones, one per team. I had my students use their own phones.
I decided to make a scavenger hunt in comprehensible Spanish to take my students around some of the main public areas of my school as well as my classroom. After I set up my educator account, it was very easy and intuitive to figure out.
- Click “new game”
- Set up the name and description of your game. Hint: make your game name something easy to remember and easy to search for.
- Set up the clues. They are called “missions” in GooseChase.
This is the fun part. You can choose whether to require students to submit text or photo/video for each mission. For text answers you can enter answers that are acceptable and GooseChase will check them or you can allow students to type anything and you can evaluate each one individually. You can also set a point value for each mission, making more difficult missions worth more points!
I decided to have my students read my descriptions of things in the school, then take pictures of the items they found. I required my students to have at least one team member in each picture (more fun that way!). Here is the link to my game in case you want to read all of my missions!
My students had a lot of fun, and in spite of my initial reservations they didn’t let me down. They were completely engaged!
I’m envisioning using this again at the end of a novel unit. I think it would be really fun to create a scavenger hunt based on clues that all related to the novel itself. I chose to allow my students to leave the classroom, but I was talking to an English teacher friend of mine who was thinking she could do an entire GooseChase right in her own classroom.
Ideas for missions:
- Describe (in the target language) scenes from a story or a chapter in a novel, have students in their teams re-create a “freeze frame” photo.
- Describe (in the target language) an object located in the school, your classroom, or inside a book illustration. Have students take a photo of it.
- Upload a photo, ask a question about the photo and require a text or video response (in the target language)!
- Give students a vocabulary word and require them to make a video of themselves pantomiming or drawing a picture of the word.
- Give students a map or diagram showing a place where action happened in a book or story. Have them make a video showing the 2-3 places where action happened and the order in which it happened by tracing their finger along the map.
This was a ton of fun, and it is free to use a basic account. I highly recommend it and plan to use it again in the near future!
Kristy Placido is the editor of CI Peek. She is the author of several novels for Spanish learners and presents workshops for teachers on teaching with comprehensible input. She has been using TPRS and comprehensible input approaches in her own classroom since 1998. Check out her blog at kplacido.com and follow her on twitter and facebook!