Twelve Days of Popcorn (Day 4): A Better Scavenger Hunt

The kids pile off the bus, clutching clipboards and pencils.  Your heart sinks.  Is this another boringly basic ‘find the painting by Copley with a teapot in it’ scavenger hunt?  It doesn’t have to be.  Check out this great post from the Smithsonian Museum of American History’s blog: “New Take on the Old Museum Field Trip.”  Fill your field trip ‘yearbook’ with the figures of American History — Best Couple, Most Likely to Win a Medal, etc.  What a great way to spark conversations and force some actual reasoning to defend your vote!

It’s possible to do this at art and science museums too.   In an art exhibit, even with very young children, you could ask ‘what would you hang above your couch?  Why?’ and of course, there’s the fabulous ‘What if?’ which is at the core of any hands-on science museum.  Check out more recommendations for such ‘juicy questions’ at the Exploratorium’s Group Inquiry by Visitors at Exhibits (GIVE Program).  Find the directions for the Juicy Question Game and suggestions on how do do this on the exhibit floor with a family or school group.  Brain Popcorn + Juicy Questions = Great Food for Thought!

On the fourth day of popcorn, these ideas gave me glee: four juicy questions, three chugging trains, two coral reefs, and a pop-up folding snow-bedecked tree…

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