Students often are surprised to learn how much they already know or can gather from resources other than the Internet. This Information Hunt can help get your students off to a good start researching information for writing or speaking assignments. Assigning the questions can be a way of introducing inexperienced researchers to a variety of resources…including themselves.
Working in teams of three to five, students should be able to complete the task in a single class period. finding answers to general questions that should send students to resources found in most classrooms with access to the Internet. If necessary, borrow a couple of two or three volume encyclopedia and a college dictionary that includes etymologies. Ask students to bring their history and science textbooks to class the day you plan to give this assignment. That should make the students curious.
Feel free to adapt the list to include a few questions with answers you believe your students will already know about sports, literature, science, history, your state or country, music, etc. This assignment is designed for them to be both challenged and successful.
Link to Information Hunt handout.
There are a number of ways to organize the assignment, but resist temptation to have students compete against one another. Instead,
*** you could have team representatives pull four numbers from 1-20 and their team would be responsible for answering the questions matching their numbers. Then, each team would share their answers with the whole class. Or,
*** you could do a rainbow jigsaw with homogeneous teams of blue, a green, and yellow and a red team and each team answer five questions. Then create rainbow teams with a representative from each group to share their answers with the heterogeneous rainbow group. If you have a large class, consider smaller two teams of each color and then just four rainbow groups. In that way, pairs who researched the same topics could compare answers when they meet in rainbow groups.
Just for fun, you could ask students to create a short story or found poem using the information they learn about doing the research.