Antelope Trails Elementary School uses a unique scavenger hunt to challenge students

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COLORADO SPRINGS — Antelope Trails Elementary School in Colorado Springs is adapting to the pandemic and teaching kids in a non-traditional way – all while keeping socially distant while outside.

3rd, 4th and 5th graders used their lab time to paint rocks with upper and lowercase alphabet letters as well as sight words on them and then hid them across our school’s Learning Garden to challenge the younger students and help them learn difficult words.

The 1st and 2nd graders searched for the rocks through Wednesday afternoon.

Ben R., a 5th grader, said this exercise was difficult for him when he did it in prior years, but he was happy to help the younger students.

“I didn’t really have a good time learning them, and now I’m able to help the younger kids actually have fun learning, and I feel like it would help them be better at it,” Ben said.

Every grade at this school participates in a program called “Inquiry Lab.” It allows students to take a deeper dive into STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) and SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) concepts.

Lindsay Illsley, a librarian at the district developed the idea. 2nd graders used their iPads and seesaw to document their findings, which their parents are able to see online.

This rock project will become a permanent part of the school’s Learning Garden so students of all ages can go outside and explore the alphabet and sight words with their classes any time. 

Past projects have including creating a Thanksgiving Day Parade with robots, making light-up cards to explore circuitry, and much more.

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