Arrrrr! How to Lead Your Students on a Treasure Hunt

pirate shipI do this treasure hunt as a stand-alone activity. However, it would be a great supplement to one of the Fluency Matters pirate novels. Los piratas del Caribe y el Triángulo de las Bermudas by Carol Gaab and Christine Tiday, Piratas del Caribe y el mapa secreto by Mira Canion and Carol Gaab and Nordseepirat by Robert Harrell are all great choices for level one or two classes.

I use this activity to get reps on:

  • Names of classes and subjects
  • Locations within the school
  • Adjectives to describe classes, personalities, and appearance

Here’s how you do it:

Make a packet of the pirate descriptions for each group or for each group member if you prefer each student to have a copy. I find that groups of three work best. Instruct each group to search for the pirates in the order that they appear in the packet. Make sure that the ninth pirate is the last one in each packet, as this station has the pirate who says, “Go back to Spanish class. Your teacher has the treasure.” Mix up pirates one through eight so that you don’t have groups following each other around the whole time.

There are nine pirates in all. Tape each pirate in a location that matches one of the descriptions that your students will use to find the pirate. The ninth station will have two pirates: one that fits the ninth description and one who says, “Return to Spanish class, your teacher has the treasure.”

For each pirate, the students need to translate what he or she is saying to English, write the pirate’s name, and describe him or her. The students write these in their packets.

We all have students who are great to have in class but who you might not want together in the halls in the same group given that they are completing this activity on their own. It’s also helpful to have one more proficient student per group to keep them on track.

I am fortunate to teach in a school where we can use the hallways and open collaboration spaces. You may want to get permission from your administrators to do this activity if you teach in a more traditional setting since you will have small groups of students going throughout the school to find the pirates.

treasure chest

I picked up a treasure chest like this one at Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby and Michael’s always have 40% off coupons on their websites that you can load on your phone.

You can probably pick up a number of tricorn pirate hats on clearance at those Halloween Express stores for the “captain” of each band of pirates. A CI/TPRS teacher can never have enough student props, right?

Please leave a comment below and let me know how your students did with their treasure hunt!

Pirate Treasure Hunt Instructions

Pirate Pictures to Hang Up

Student Packets with Pirate Clues

You can download the “Pieces of Eight” font that I used for this activity free of charge here.

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