Saturday, March 10, 2012

Look What They Found In Mackin VIA With The QR Code Scavenger Hunt

Over the last few weeks, the students and teachers have been having a great time checking out all of the new eBooks within Mackin VIA.  I have seen them use VIA in the library for research on their science projects; reading parts of the eBook Who Wrote That? Dr. Seuss...Theodor Geisel on NEA's Read Across America Day last week as a class on the iPads, and not being able to get enough of the weird and wild facts from the Small But Deadly series.   

When VIA was rolled out at Van Meter, we started with the secondary and fifth graders.  The next week, I started showing the elementary students and teachers in the library, computer lab and within their classrooms.  Everyone was so excited to see what VIA was all about and loved the new resources they now had access to.  

Next, I really wanted to give them a chance to browse through all of the fun really get to know what eBooks and databases are in Van Meter's VIA.  

What better way than to have a little scavenger hunt using QR codes! 
I have created several QR scavenger hunts this year.  My favorite one was for the little ones in the elementary to go with the book The Gingerbread Loose In The School. Using the iTouches, they scanned QR codes around the school looking for the Gingerbread and finding special people from our school along the way. 
It was such an awesome activity but it took me hours to create every little QR code that attached to the photos I took of everyone.  

There just had to be an easier way.  
After looking around a little, I came across the QR Code Scavenger Hunt Generator from on Twitter last weekend.  I couldn't wait to try it out.

Following just a few easy steps within the website, I created the QR Challenge: What Can We Find In Mackin VIA.  I looked through Van Meter's Mackin VIA to write 16 questions and answers to be included in the scavenger hunt. 
Once the questions and answers were entered into the website, the QR codes were created for each.  It didn't take long at all for the QR codes to be created for What Can We Find in Mackin VIA.  
Once they were created, I copied and pasted them into a Google Doc.  I could then easily print them off and share them with all of my students.  
It would also be easy for me to saved this QR code scavenger hunt and share it with others who could use it with their school community too.
The questions and answers to the QR Code Scavenger Hunt What Can We Find in Mackin VIA were available on the website and can be referred to when needed.  
I created a Google Doc called What Did You Find in Mackin VIA? where the students could record their answers.  
I shared the Google Doc with my students and they would make a copy before recording any of the answers.  This was included in the What Can We Find In Mackin VIA Directions. 
I made copies of the QR codes on different colored paper and placed them into plastic bags. 
After the students got into four groups, I gave each group a group of QR codes.  I also gave them a couple of iTouches that they would use to scan the QR codes. 
Several of the students also had their own devices.  After downloading a QR Code reader, they were able to use those too.  
The four groups got busy right away.  They were excited to open up the bag of QR codes and scan them to see what they told them.  
The question came up on the screen as they scanned the QR code.  
They then set out in Mackin VIA to search for the answers.
I loved seeing how great they worked together.  They took time to discuss the eBooks and look at them more closely than they had before.  
After finding the answers within VIA, they would record their answers in the Google Doc I shared with them.
On our second day, Ryan from Mackin Skyped into Van Meter to see how the scavenger hunt was going.
The 6th graders were so excited to tell him all that they were finding.  
This QR code scavenger hunt can be modified and used with any grade level.  

At the end of the week, I even had the 4th graders do it with our kindergarteners as they learned about Mackin VIA in the computer lab.  They loved using the iTouches to scan the codes but the real excitement came when they opened up all of the beautiful eBooks they found.  
My favorite sharing of VIA last week was when second grader Meridan came up and told me, "This eBook is informational about gorillas.  Mrs. Miller, did you know that their hands are bigger than their feet?
And then how neat to get a tweet from Meridan and her mom the next morning after she showed VIA to her family that night. 

Mackin VIA and these amazing resources are making an impact in Van Meter....

on our students, teachers and families.  

This is just the beginning of our students discovering and learning new things within these resources.  

I can't wait to see what they find next.  


  1. Love the pictures of the children; they show total engagement with the process!

  2. Thank you, Judy. It was such a FUN activity and one I will definitely use with all of our students at Van Meter. :)

  3. What an inspiration, looking to you as a reference when writing grants for touch/ebooks! Thanks for all the wonderful details!

  4. Hi Styling Librarian,

    Thank you. :) Would love to help you out....just let me know what you need.


  5. Perfect post. Learn how to incorporate QR codes in your web apps to deliver quick information directly to your users' mobile device