In my previous life as a middle school teacher, I had to teach options from time to time. One time the school had three blocks of six week options. These options were to be something that was not covered in any other part of the program. We had to name our own poison. In other words, we had to make up an option.
Since I was keen on cycling I thought well, I'll do a cycling option in the spring and fall. I would do bicycle safety, maintenance, riding skills and you could always find a few games to go into the program.
One of the activities I tried was the Gold Rush ride. I took 100 egg sized rocks and painted them yellow(gold). In one of our larger parks with bike trails. I would hide the rocks. Then the kids had to find the rocks while riding their bikes. I was amazed that the kids participated in this activity with such energy. I had one kid choose my option 6 times in a row.
Later on we had a welcome to the new class , gr. sevens, in September. Again we chose a large park and bussed 200 grade sevens out for hot dogs. But we needed an activity. You guessed it...the old yellow rocks. We went out the afternoon before the event and hid the rocks. On the afternoon of the hot dog roast we divided the kids into groups. They came from 5 different feeder schools so we wanted to mix them so they got to know kids from other schools. So when we were all organized somebody said "go" and off they went. Liberal amounts of licorice twisters added energy to the hunt. Again the kids went tearing around looking for the rocks. My buddy, the art teacher used to keep the rocks in his art room. He probably still has the rocks in his garage at home even after 20 years of retirement.
Well, a few posts ago I wrote about finding 150 bird species for our country's 150th anniversary. I'm getting the same feeling about the activity. We're not finding rocks but birds. I can't believe the enthusiasm people have for finding species, reporting them and general discussion.
I guess I'm a one trick pony and use the same activity over and over but in different forms. I guess it's basically a type of treasure hunt!