Photo Scavenger Hunts are Fun for Teaching English with EFL Students

Stuck for what to do?

Are you finding holidays difficult to fill with fun activities, or been stuck for something to fill in a class where the plan has flunked. Well, the answer could be a basic traditional scavenger hunt or photo scavenger hunt. These are fun and active, meaning most kids love them. As it often reminds them of hunting for treasure, a small prize at the end can have your kids learning English and loving it. With TEFL, there are many areas of English that you need to teach and many word sets for vocabulary focused classes.



All these variations can be used for scavenger hunting. An example would be where you describe (simply) a sport, then have the students have to find the equipment and pose for that sport. When they return to you with the photo, you can then make them use a set phrase before you give them the next clue. This can increase both their vocabulary knowledge and also their ability to actually use that vocabulary in a sentence. The need to win will MAKE them WANT to remember the phrases, rather than the 'listen and repeat' method which tends to work on some and washes over others without actually entering their brains.



If your students are more advanced, you can even take this further by making each team create the cards. They work in small groups, finding new things and then either describing them or writing directions to find them. This means that they have to know what an object is, as when they eventually compete, the teams must return with both the photo and also the name/spelling of the object that they have found. The extra involvement in this activity is fantastic for learning purposes, but please don't even try to squeeze this activity into a 30minute slot ... as you should allow at least an hour, preferably 1.5 hours.


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Comments 6 comments

peoplepower73 profile image

peoplepower73 4 years ago from Placentia California

Brett, I did Volunteers of America for a couple of years and taught a Chinese college student with the English comprehension level of a fourth grader. One of the things I did was take him to the grocery store and had him become familiar the the products. I like your hub. Thanks for SHARING.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

What an excellent activity not just for teaching English but any foreign language. Voting this Up and Useful. Thanks for SHARING.


Xenonlit profile image

Xenonlit 4 years ago

Well done and cheers. I have a lot of elderly neighbors and think that the same principle might be fun for the elderly to keep their minds sharp.


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia Author

@ Mackyi Thanks for the votes.

@ Reynold Jay. Kids and adults seem to love this activity, even if the pretend not to when you suggest it, when the activity starts, the need to win kicks in! lol

Thanks for the votes.


mackyi 4 years ago

Very interesting hub. Voted up interesting!


Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 4 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

Yes, all this works for me and the children would love it! It’s great to see a new HUBBER and welcome to HUB writing. I found I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. I must give this an “Up ONE and awesome.” I'm always your fan! RJ

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