Children will develop creative-thinking, language, literacy, and math skills as they engage in a variety of activities about hidden treasure.
- Books about treasure, such as The Great Treasure Hunt by Rosemary Berlin, Dora the Explorer: Dora's Treasure Hunt by Alison Inches, Spot's Treasure Hunt by Eric Hill, and Theodore and the Treasure Hunt by Mary Man-Kong
- Lined story paper
- Drawing paper
- Drawing and collage materials, including markers, crayons, stickers, sequins, buttons, paper and fabric scraps, glitter pens, old magazines and catalogs, child safety scissors, and glue sticks.
Set Up and Prepare
In Advance: Send a note home to families requesting donations of old shoe boxes or small cardboard boxes so children can make treasure chests.
Reading Treasure Stories!
Read stories about treasure or treasure hunts to the class. Follow each reading with discussions about the stories. Reread specific books to focus on specific literacy skills. Encourage the class to describe the main ideas of the stories, identify main characters, describe settings, and retell or dramatize stories. Keep the books in the library area so children can read them with a friend or individually.
A Treasure Book to Treasure!
Invite children to write and illustrate their own treasure story. Engage them in a discussion to generate ideas for their stories. Ask them to think of different settings where their stories could take place. Who will the main characters be? What types of materials, clothing, or vehicles might they need for their treasure hunts? Record their ideas on chart paper.
Ask small groups to work on their stories. Give them lined story paper and writing and drawing materials. Assist them in writing or dictating the text of their stories. Encourage them to think of titles for their stories and to create illustrated book covers. Bind the pages to make individual treasure books.
Create a schedule for children to read their books to the class. Place their books in the library or dramatic-play area for all to share.
Design a Treasure Map
Ask children to share what they know about treasure maps. What is their purpose? Have they seen examples of treasure maps in books, television shows, or movies? Invite them to design a treasure map. It can be a map relating to the book they created or it can be a map of treasure buried in their classroom, playground, home, or pretend place. Give them paper and drawing materials to design their map. Then give them lined paper to write or dictate information about their map. After they have shared their work, find an area to display the maps.
Make a Treasure Chest
Tell children they will make their own treasure chest to keep in their cubbies. They can use their treasure chest to keep artwork, notes, or pictures. Give them the suggested art materials to decorate their chests. They can line their treasure chests with felt or fabric scraps. Invite everyone to share their creations during group time.
Curriculum Connection: Family Involvement
Memories to Treasure
Tell children that "to treasure something" means to greatly value a special object, perhaps one that belonged to a grandparent, or a special memory, such as a wedding or the birth of a child. Encourage children to think of things or memories they treasure. Record their comments on chart paper. Then tell them you will send home an activity to find out what memories their family members treasure. Make a wall display and record the different treasured memories for all to see and read together.