Turning an ordinary activity like “Find a Shape” into a game like “Shape Scavenger Hunt” is pretty easy to do, and much more fun for children to engage in. Frequently, while visiting centers, I hear teachers ask the children, “Who can find something in our room that is a circle?” or “Who can find something red?” The children look around, everyone raises their hands, one child gets called on, and then he tries to find something that fits the criteria. Usually, everyone raises their hands because they want a turn, more than they know the answer. This is the usual course of events.
It is far more interesting to create a very simple chart for each child, clip the charts to clipboards (I LOVE clipboards, so each child can work on his/her own), tie a good pen or felt tip marker to the clipboard and then have the children look for items from their charts. It could look like this:
Each child could take his/her clipboard and find something in the room that is either this shape, or with this shape on it. They could draw what they find on their charts and then tell the group what they found. If adding color confuses them, then be sure to leave it out. If you want to add the dimension of color so that each item has 2 attributes; i.e.; red squares, yellow circles, etc. then be sure to explain that as well.
You might add another dimension to this by adding numbers.
There are very clear messages on this chart. The first message says, “Find 2 rectangles.” The second says, ” Find 3 circles,” and the thirds says, “Find 1 triangle.” Before you have the children set off on their scavenger hunts, be sure that they can “read” their charts. Explain that there is a space for each item they find and they can draw their items in the chart when they find them.
Use these to determine how the children in your group are identifying their shapes, recognizing numerals, and following directions. Have fun with scavenger hunts. The more the children get used to this format, the more they will enjoy it.