Students from grades 1-4 embarked on a fantastic SEL-related treasure hunt this month. The treasure hunt was not only fun for the kids, but educational as well. When I taught English abroad, I used to create a Jeopardy style game show for my students to review lessons that I taught throughout the semester. I wanted to make learning fun, interactive, and as stimulating as possible. I often think to myself, “how can I help create something memorable for the kids?” and I used this philosophy to create the Chouette D’or treasure hunt.
Inspired by a real life French “armchair” treasure hunt created by Regis Hauser in 1993, I created clues that were hidden all over the school that the children had to search for in teams. Each clue was a Social and Emotional Learning value or word that we had touched upon in our previous lessons. These words were also scrambled so the students had to work very hard together to figure out the answers. For example when they found “Na Natserpud”, I defined the scrambled word as a person who stands up for others who is being hurt or teased. The opposite word would be “bystander.” Can you guess what it is? An Upstander!! Then, we went a little deeper and we discussed the importance of standing up for others connecting the term to movements like Black Lives Matter, Stop Asian Hate, and issues they might experience on the playground, like relational aggression. We spoke about the need to look out for one another and to treat each other with loving kindness. We also talked about how important it is to speak up when we witness the mistreatment of others. We spoke similarly when we found all the other SEL terms as well.
As the children went around school to decipher their SEL words, there were some letters that were circled. They had to write these special letters down and put them all together to unscramble the last clue word which was “skylight.” They then looked around the school for the skylight where the golden owl was hidden. When found, they received a treasure and we then had a dance party to celebrate their team-based efforts! I witnessed the children work so hard and work so well with one another to find the golden owl. The whole school was aglow with magic and wonder while we tackled this two week project. This was a wonderfully collaborative project which was supported by all the teachers as well. It was nice to see everyone so actively involved in such a fun and purposeful endeavor! I will definitely make this treasure hunt an annual tradition. Below you can take part in the magic by trying to guess the SEL terms that were used in the Chouette D’Or!!!
DEFINITIONS OF CLUE WORDS
To have or to be……….
E_____________ Caring and understanding how others feel. Putting yourself in others shoes. To practice___________ you identify what someone is feeling, you then validate that your perceptions were right by asking them something like “Are you sad, scared, frustrated, etc.. Then you respect how they feel and help them process the emotion.
C_________________ Recognizing that others are sad, in pain, or suffering and taking action to help. If you feel something in your heart when you see a houseless person for example, and bring them some food or clothing, you have __________________ in your heart.
A g______ l______________ If you listen with your ears, eyes, and heart, you are this! Active listening is something that needs to be practiced. When talking with someone don’t just wait to say what you want to say, REALLY do your best to listen with care like a good friend or a parent.
An a______ A person and often a friend who supports others against racism, bigotry, and prejudice. We can be an ______ by educating ourselves about important causes and struggles and being there for others. Being an ______ means we celebrate and share the joy and brilliance of others as well. Simply put; we lift up others and don't put them down.
An u______________ A person who sticks up for others if they are being teased or bullied. Don’t by a bystander, be an ______________! Imagine how you would feel if someone stood up for you when you needed help!
S_____-c_______________ Believing and trusting in yourself. Understanding what your strengths and weaknesses are and being ok with it. Saying things like “I can do it” or “don’t give up” are part of your mental outlook when you are________________________.
P__________ Doing your best to have a good attitude and not being negative. Using positive self talk, learning and growing from your mistakes, and practicing forgiveness help greatly when being ____________.
C______ You feel this way when you take 3 deep breaths or when you meditate. Finding peace is sometimes hard to do. But hopefully through SEL you will have many tools to feel this in your mind and body when you need.
G______________ You enjoy sharing your time, your things, etc. with others. The opposite word might be selfish. Practicing _______________ity can also reduce stress and is a beautiful gift that promotes selflessness.
K____ Being thoughtful and good to others. Another word that is similar to this would be NICE. Something I often say is to be _____ to yourself and be _____ to others at the end of SEL class.
Tags: SEL treasure hunt