Addressing the ECC Through A Scavenger Hunt

By Courtney Tabor-... on Mar 15, 2017

Time for a scavenger hunt! Scavenger hunts are a fun, popular group activity and can be tailored to any age and skill level. This activity might be challenging for an individual with a vision impairment in a group of sighted participants because the activity can be highly visual in nature and can tend to give sighted individuals the advantage.

The activity below is designed specifically for individuals with vision impairments. It is a great way to work on skills from a number of components of the Expanded Core curriculum, including:

  • Social skills—working together to read clues, taking turns, decision making, helping each other, communication skills
  • Orientation and mobility skills—practice navigating through a building or outside space to find clues, practicing directional terms, exploring new or less familiar environments
  • Compensatory skills—reading clues using braille or another accessible format, concept development through object identification
  • Sensory efficiency—locating clues by recognizing and interpreting sensory information

This activity can easily be tied to fit a particular transition-related activity that the students are focusing on.


  • Reading/writing tools
  • Various items to locate during the treasure hunt


  1. Coordinate a small group of students with vision impairments to participate in the activity. Ideal group size is from 2 to 4 students, but can vary based on the complexity of the students’ needs.
  2. Assemble a variety of items for students to find during the scavenger hunt. Use any of the following tips for item selection, depending on students’ abilities and needs:
    • Select items that:
      • Vary in texture, color, sound, or smell to build sensory efficiency skills
      • Vary in size and weight to build dexterity and fine motor skills
      • Introduce or build upon an object or schema, such as
        • Items you might find in a hardware store
        • Items to include in a first-aid kit
        • Modes of transportation (using toy cars, buses, trains, etc.)
        • Kitchen tools
      • Introduce or connect to a transition-related activity. For example:
        • Locating items that will be used in a students’ work experience (i.e. badge, file folders, braille labeler)
        • Locating ingredients or utensils that will be used to prepare a snack or meal
        • Locate items that will be used on a recreational outing (i.e.. items for a trip to the beach, tickets to a community event)
  3. Determine the environment where the activity will take place, and hide items. To build on travel skills, choose a location that is not too familiar for the students, so that they will be required to use orientation and mobility skills to navigate the environment when searching for items. Some level of familiarity is helpful so that navigation does not distract from other components of the activity.
  4. Develop clues. Clues can range from simple to complex and should be provided in a range of formats so that all participants can access them.
  5. After explaining the activity to the students, giving out the clues, and setting a time frame, encourage the students to work together to make their own rules. Group members must find a way to ensure that each member of the group is included in the activity and they have equal opportunity throughout the activity.
  6. During the scavenger hunt, any of the following skills can be addressed or emphasized, depending on students’ needs:
    • Problem solving
    • Keeping track of items or of clues solved
    • Orientation and mobility skills
    • Understanding and following directions
    • Sensory exploration
    • Cooperation and collaboration
  7. After the activity, encourage the students to talk about their experience:
    • What was the best part?
    • What was challenging?
    • How did you work together?
    • What is the relationship between the objects you found? How do they relate to one another? Are they all used in a certain activity, setting, etc.?

Collage for addressing the ECC through a scavenger hunt

Total Life Learning by Wendy Bridgeo,‎ Beth Caruso,‎ & Mary Zatta

Cover of Total Life Learning

The Total Life Learning curriculum was developed for students ages 3 to 22 who are blind, visually impaired including those students who have additional disabilities or are deafblind. The focus is on the development of life and career goals that enable student to maximize independence, self-determination, employability, and participation in the community.