Objective: Students will answer questions that pertain to their school county to find different landmarks on a detailed county general highway map. Students will learn how to read a map and how to discern map legend symbols.

Materials: County general highway map, copy of scavenger hunt county questions, copy of Teacher's Answer Key: Brookings County, Clark County, Codington County, Deuel County, Grant County, Hamlin County, Kingsbury County, Lake County, Moody County, pencils, prizes (optional)

Background: Scavenger hunts are educational and fun. They are searching fests for students. This particular scavenger hunt was created around the theme of water resources.

Scavenger hunts can be played in teams, as a class or even individually. They can be played out in contest form or just provide a time frame that the students have to work in. Most students find these hunts very motivational and they are also a great way to review material for upcoming tests or events. They can be very simple or very complex.

This activity can be done in either small groups or individually.

Hand out a copy of the Where Do You Live Scavenger Hunt questions to each student.

Explain that he/she will be exploring the school's home county by using the county general highway map. Spend a little time going over the map, pointing out the water bodies, roads, towns, etc. Explain how the map legend works and tell student that his/her assignment will be to answer the questions on his/her handout. If you are awarding prizes, explain what it takes to obtain one.

Using the county general highway map, have student answer the questions on the handout. We have provided a minimum number on most questions. There may be more gravel pits, wastewater treatment plants, etc., on the map; however, there will not be a lesser number than what is indicated on the Teacher Answer Key.

When each student has finished his/her handout, award prizes. Another suggestion would be to use this game as extra credit during your water unit.

Take class to one of the water areas indicated on the county general highway map. En route, have students follow on the map whatever roads/highways your bus takes to the site. Upon reaching the waterbody, do another scavenger hunt - one based on the environmental aspects of the site (i.e., locate a bunch of cattails, try to find an animal track, where are the bird feathers, etc.).

Invite a cartographer (perhaps someone from the EROS Data Center) to visit your classroom. Encourage him/her to talk about the process by which maps are made. Hold a map-making unit in your classroom, having students design their own maps showing topography, symbols, etc. on their creations. Display around your classroom.

Vocabulary Glossary:
Legend: An explanatory list of symbols on a map or chart

Grade Level:
Upper Elementary

Subject Areas:
Social Studies, Reading

SD Standards for 4th grade:
Social Studies

4.R.1.1; 4.R.1.2; 4.R.2.1; 4.R.2.3


Interpretation, Observation, Application, Data Collection, Classification

Prior Preparation: Make copies of Where Do You Live Scavenger Hunt questions - one per student. Laminate the county general highway map.

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