My Experiences with Treasure Hunts


Last night on Twitter I saw a post from @ASTsupportAAli about an activity that his students had used during a student led lesson: Treasure hunts! I was instantly hooked by the idea and determined to re-plan my lesson to incorporate it. I decided to trial it with my Yr 13 Law class to revise a topic on Insanity that we had just finished before moving on to the next area of study. The class is small which made this more manageable and they’re a class I know would really love a competitive challenge like this.

I developed 8 key questions to test students’ knowledge on the 3 parts of the definition and the key cases. These were:

  1. Name all 8 cases needed for this unit
  2. What is the facts and legal point in Johnson?
  3. What are the two ways D may not know the nature and quality of their act?
  4. Which of these is NOT insanity and why: Hennessy, Clarke,Quick or Johnson
  5. Name a case and describe the facts of a case that demonstrates how physical diseases can constitute insanity.
  6. What are the facts and legal point in Clarke?
  7. What is the definition of insanity?
  8. What case defined insanity and what happened in this case?

Two copies of each question were printed out on coloured card and then hidden in places around my classroom and other near by areas.

I then developed clues that would give students hints as to where all 8 of the questions were. For example…




When students came into the lesson they were placed into two equal groups of three. Both were given the first clue and told that the first team to find all the questions would be the winner and get the ‘treasure’. The first clue led them to a question hidden under some chewing gum covered desks, to enable them to get the next clue they had to return to me with the question and correctly answer it. If students got it wrong, they were sent away to find the answer and could return and try again. Only when the students had correctly answered the question, in depth, was the next clue finally relinquished.

Excitement levels quickly rose as students got closer and closer to the last question and despite this being an all female class, there was some very unladylike behavior!!! It was a roaring success with students animatedly running around the room searching for clues or Law books to help them answer the questions. Engagement aside students also commented on how it helped them to solidify their understanding of the key parts of this defence in a quick, high pressured situation which would be good preparation for their exams.


This worked well due to the small class size. I plan to try this again with younger students but, to make it more manageable, I will give different clues in different locations on different coloured paper for each group to avoid bottling necking and chaos. Conversely, I may attempt it as a whole class activity in which the clues are discussed and one person retrieves the question based on who correctly solves the clue etc.

A thoroughly enjoyable lesson idea that I cannot wait to try again. I would recommend to one and all!!


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