Mrs. Fitchburg wasn't a teacher who believed lecturing was the most effective way to deliver information.
Throughout her first year, she stuck with the books - giving verbal lessons on American westward expansion, the colonization of the Caribbean, the kid-friendly version of Thanksgiving's macabre history and so on.
One day, after talking for 20 minutes about the French and Indian War, she realized only three out of the 20 kids in her class were actually paying attention. Sure, she could scold those who weren't engaged, but was her cut-and-dry lecture tactic helping?
WrapSure to the rescue
Two days later Mrs. Fitchburg had an idea. Instead of standing at the front of the class and rambling on for half an hour, she would put her students' problem-solving to the test. In her experience, she had always learned more from active thinking. Not to mention, her pupils would probably appreciate the new approach.
After buying a packet of USI-Laminate's Military Card WrapSure Pouch Film - the perfect way to protect a collection of index cards - she wrote a series of riddles alluding to events in the Civil War. She regarded the layout of the school's playground and interior, thinking of cool places in which she could hide her clues. Yes, Mrs. Fitchburg was going to test her students' knowledge through a scavenger hunt.
Off to the races
Mrs. Fitchburg divided up her class into four groups of five. She gave them the objective: Start at various points in the scavenger hunt, working your way around the school. The first team that reaches the final clue will receive a prize.
As you can imagine, her students were off to the races. They had no idea what the winnings may consist of, but providing them with a small reward was enough for them to put their thinking caps on. Below is one of the clues she provided to her kids:
"Two states, and a war between them," referred to the Civil War's alternative title: "The War Between Two States." The next clue was under a rock on a painted map of the U.S. on the playground.
The Blue Team managed to reach the end first, and she rewarded its members with five of her famous brownies. For years to come, she used the scavenger hunt as a way to get her students thinking about the Civil War. How was this possible? A laminated index card lasts forever.