Half Moon Bay History Scavenger Hunt

Fifth Grade Teacher Emma Samuels collaborated with Dave Cresson, the President of the Half Moon Bay History Association, to organize a Half Moon Bay Scavenger Hunt for students. The field trip was featured on the homepage of the Half Moon Bay Review.

“A scavenger hunt is really about adventure education,” said Ms. Samuels. “The point is to get kids to grapple and persevere and struggle. The learning is explicitly designed so that students are put in this place of slight stress, and from that energy comes incredible growth and incredible learning.”

Stops on the scavenger hunt were multi-sensory, asking students to create a skit, write a song, draw something, build something, or compare and contrast. For example, one site along the way said:

Gaspar de Portola and his men were weak from dysentery and exhaustion, and they rested by this creek before continuing on to Montara. Create a film in which you act out this scene. Make sure you include important information about why they were here and what they were hoping to achieve. Include de Portola, Father Crespi, and other members of the traveling party in your film.

All activities during the scavenger hunt were designed so that chaperones could be as hands-off as possible. Students collaborated, shared leadership, and solved problems on their own – and they had a great time.

“The most important thing about the scavenger hunt is that it’s incredibly relevant to the kids,” said Ms. Samuels. “They walk past these buildings all the time, and now they’ll have key ideas and turning points in Half Moon Bay history to share with whomever they’d like.”

View more photos from this field trip at the NAIS Inspiration Lab: “Creating a Hometown Scavenger Hunt.”



Innovation Lab Manager Patrick Neary was thrilled with these students earlier today:

“I had been thinking of ways to organize some of the iLab’s raw materials and came up with a design to recycle (important!) some of the sturdier cardboard and galvanized pipes.

I had just finished creating the holes in the cardboard in which to run the stabilizing pipes, when the ‘SuperKids!’ from Fourth Grade snack recess came into the iLab.

Immediately, they wanted to help!

Working together, they coordinated, organized, supported, considered options, helped each other, pushed and pulled, and never, ever argued! Fantastic!”

Second and Third Grade Bridge Building

Second and Third Graders were challenged to build a bridge using only blocks of wood. No glue, tape, or any other materials were allowed. Once they determined that a counter-weight on either end was the key to success, they began to test the mid-span weight by putting more rows of blocks out into the middle.

Next week: twice the distance!

Eighth Graders Volunteer at the SF-Marin Food Bank

Eighth Grade students volunteered at the San Francisco Food Bank as part of their yearlong service learning project on hunger and poverty. Students learned that one in four people in San Francisco are hungry, and that 800,000 children in the United States go hungry each day.

Students worked for three hours at the Food Bank. They helped sort 35,000 pounds of pears that will go to elementary school students in San Francisco, and they will be returning in late winter to volunteer more. It was a productive day with students, parents, and teachers working side by side!


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