Up until the pandemic, I had been doing an academic egg hunt for my students right before spring break. It was the last activity I was preparing for before school was closed down in 2020, so I am excited this year to do it with students in-person for the first time in two years. I wanted an activity that was fun and seasonal for students, but still age-appropriate. For an academic egg hunt, I put papers with questions or different performance activities on pieces of paper, fold them up and put them in plastic Easter eggs for students to find. Here is what I do to set up for the academic egg hunt…
I have each student collect a certain color of egg, so I can differentiate the questions or activities. Years ago, I bought 13 different colors/types of eggs, since I had 13 students in my class. I usually assign colors based on the student, their needs and skills they are working on, but this year, I just let my students pick the color they wanted to find. For students with visual impairments, I have used a variety of adaptations to ensure that they also enjoy Easter egg hunt. There are sound eggs available for students with visual impairments or I have used eggs that are bunny-shaped with rabbit ears. Start to plan early, so you can get more help, either from your paras or other staff members. I also like to have students make their own baskets before the egg hunt.
2. Prep Questions
Prepping the questions depends on how many eggs you have for each student. I bought mine in sets of 8, so I usually come up with 8 academic questions for each student. Depending on their needs, I have done less questions or made questions longer or shorter. For students with visual impairments, I numbered the eggs and put a clue in each one describing the location of the next egg. This helps students with visual impairments work on orientation and mobility. I have also put fake coins in eggs, for students to determine the value of the coins or cut up individual questions on worksheets to fold up and put inside the eggs. Make sure to allow time to fold up the questions to put in the eggs.
3. Hide Eggs
Plan on hiding eggs either the afternoon before or during lunchtime or prep. Make sure that the hiding places are appropriate for the level of your students and write down where you hid them in case you forget. For students with visual impairments, I have “hid” bunny-shaped plastic eggs with regular plastic eggs so the student could differentiate by feel. For students with visual impairments who are working on mobility, you can use the sound eggs and have a question next to the egg.
4. Egg Hunt
It is always a good idea to explain how to look for the eggs and how to differentiate between the light and dark color variations before the egg hunt. I usually give students one reference egg already in their basket so they have a color example to match. Assigning paras to certain students or having older students help younger students to find the eggs is also helpful. The egg hunt is also a great way to incorporate academic skills and vocabulary. Having the speech pathologist come in during the egg hunt to reinforce preposition words is a fun way for students to apply a skill that they are working on.
5. Answering Questions
Depending on the questions, students can answer questions by themselves using pencil and the small paper in the egg, or if they are more performance based questions, they can work in a small group with you or a paraprofessional. I have had students also put together their questions on a large sheet of construction paper so they can display it in the hallway after we do the egg hunt. Students can also present their questions to work on speaking and listening skills. I have also had some students write about the sequence of the egg hunt as a writing project. At the end, I have given them an Easter treat or printed Reading A-Z books to take home in their baskets for spring break.
I hope this inspires you to do your own academic egg hunt in your classroom. I know this post may be a little late depending on different schools’ spring breaks, but I’m planning on doing it again the Monday after Easter because my students had so much fun! For more spring resources, check out the previous posts Where is the Easter Egg? and Easter Ideas! For more spring materials and activities check out Spring Themed Sequencing, Spring Work Task Mega Pack and Easy Matching Weekly Workbooks Spring Edition. Stay healthy and safe!