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Kids in Europe-Scavenger Hunt

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In the past, we've created scavenger hunts for our kids when traveling. It keeps them occupied when bored, imparts knowledge that they might not otherwise pick up, and impresses their teachers upon return to school. (Our kids' teachers have always assigned journaling. Scavenger hunts motivate the kids more easily, and are more fun, and as I said, teachers are impressed with the results.) This is what we do: We create a series of scavenger hunt questions that can only be answered by on-site observation. Then we create secondary thinking questions. Questions are based on where you know you'll be going. We xerox the questions, shrinking them in size so that they can be pasted onto a 3" X 5" fat notebook, the kind my kids use for school assignments. A pen is tied to the notebook. Questions are pasted on the left hand side and the right hand side is left blank for answers and explanations. Questions are also divided into geographical categories, i.e. Paris, south of France, Monte Carlo, etc. The day before, the kids read over the questions, and keep the notebooks handy as we're sightseeing. Sometimes a competition develops among my three boys. It has always amazed me that the same question can be asked of all three boys, even though their ages range from 15 to 7. Sometimes additional explanation is required. But the answers are always interesting, and the completed scavanger hunt journal becomes a great record of the kids' holiday. Sample questions:

How many pieta's did you see in Italy? Tally them here. (Observing question.) What is a pieta? (Thinking question.)

Does the air in Montepulciano smell the same as the air in Minnesota? (Observing question.) Why does the air smell the way it does? (Thinking question.)

I'm in the middle of creating the scavenger hunt for Paris, south of France, Monte Carlo, Florence, Montepulciano and Rome. If you email me, I'll send you a copy of the final scavenger hunt when it is done.

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