With the new school year, comes new students and a steep technology learning curve. My goal is to make learning how to use technology fun and engaging. Given how many tools we use, that’s no small feat!

Many of my incoming 9th-grade students have never used the Google Suite prior to my class. I could spend 10 minutes walking them through Google Docs and explaining the functionality, but I’d lose their interest immediately. Instead, I designed a Google Scavenger Hunt to encourage my students to explore Google Docs on their own.

The first week of school, I use Google Classroom to make a copy of this scavenger hunt activity for every student. This can be done simultaneously as a whole class making it a competition or in small groups at a station.

To make a copy of this document, click the image and “Make a copy” of the Google Doc. If you are logged into your Gmail, a copy will save in your Google Drive.

My scavenger hunt activity includes Calfornia trivia, but any teacher who makes a copy of my document can edit the scavenger hunt for their students!

Hopefully, this activity can help other teachers provide their students with a fun introduction to Google Documents!

93 Responses

  1. Caitlin, What a terrific idea!! We are just deploying Chromebooks to all of our nearly 1,000 high school students in September. Your scavenger hunt idea will be perfect for our students and also for our nervous teachers, some of whom are novice G-Suite users. I so appreciate all that you share!! Thank you!!

  2. This is a fantastic resource for both students and teachers! I’ve been using Google Docs for a while and I learned a few things myself by completing the scavenger hunt. Thank you, Catlin, for sharing this with us.

  3. Awesome resource. Thank you so much love it. My class will love this scavenger hunt. Do you have any similar scavenger hunts for slides?

  4. Great resource! I hope to use it with principals as we encourage schools in our group to use more digital resources in their schools.

  5. Great resource for both staff & students! Thx Caitlin! (I’ll be looking for the slide version)

  6. I love this idea of a scavenger hunt to teach students how to use/find their way around in Google Doc, thank you for sharing!!

      • I too hope that you create one for Google Sheets! They are great extensions and enrichment for my middle school students as a pre-assessment of the Tech Skills for future projects. I imagine the Google Sheets scavenger hunt would be a little harder because of number of different things Sheets can do. Almost need “how to” videos to go with the exact scavenger hunt for each component to help them work through it.
        -Keep up the great work!

  7. Thank you for sharing! I have modified it and sent it to 200 of our S1 pupils ahead of Scottish Maths week – a great way to introduce Google Docs to students,


  8. Thank you so much for sharing this. Even my most reluctant learner enjoyed working in groups trying to find the answers!

  9. Thanks for sharing…using this in my Intro to GSuite for educators! I think they will like it as much as their students!

  10. Thank you so much for sharing! I plan to use this with my 5th graders this week. They have been typing essays on Google Docs and I realized this week that they don’t know very much about using the tools (which is not good since I have been using the comments tool to give them feedback!). I plan to use this scavenger hunt as an introduction to Google Doc tools before doing something similar (perhaps in the form of a scavenger hunt?) as a writer’s workshop for formatting their essays. Thank you for the resource and inspiration!

  11. I used it recently. Thank you for providing access. This help supplement my lessons and reinforce what the students learned.

  12. C’est exactement ce qu’en je cherchais comme idée pour exploiter l’environnment Google avec mes élèves dès l´an prochain. Merci Catlin ! N’en te gène pas pour nous en partager d’autres de bonnes idées comme celle-là. ?

      • This is exactly what I was looking for as an idea to leverage the Google environment with my students next year. Thanks Catlin! Please feel free to share more great ideas like this with us. ?

  13. I love this! I learned a lot I didn’t know about Google docs! I plan to use it with my 6th graders the first week of school. Think I’ll have them pair up and do it together. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  14. What a fantastic tool! Thank you so much for sharing this with the education community. I teach middle school in New Mexico, and my students really lack technology at home, so I try to overuse it in school to give them a chance in their digital futures!

  15. I am to teach a beginners class to classified staff on Google Docs in a few weeks. I believe this will make it more fun.
    Thank you.

  16. Love this! Thinking about adding this as an optional activity for students new to GDocs in my online courses. Thank you so much!

  17. This is amazing! I have older students and younger. I kept this as is for the older kids, and just made a copy and edited it a bit for younger kids. Saved me so much time! Also, I never thought to have them use some of the tools in your scavenger hunt! Great job!

  18. This is a great first week of school activity. I plan on using this in my Interactive Media class which is 9-12 graders. Great start to our FUN!

  19. Thank you for the idea!
    Question: In your opinion would this work if I create a google form for this form and share it with students with a link embedded in a QR code and then have students log in to the form, ugh would this work? I want to use it in the library for 6th & 7th grade students. I don’t have them in Google classroom.

    • Hi Zoila,

      Sorry for the delay responding! A nasty cold has swept through my home the last week and a half!

      You could create a QR code of the link that forces students to make a copy of the Google Document with the scavenger hunt. If you have never shared a document and forced users to make a copy, all you do is click the blue “share” button and select “anyone with the link can view” and then change the word “edit” in the URL and make it “copy.” That modified URL is the URL you want to use to create your QR code. That way when students enter the library. They scan the code with their devices and are immediately forced to make a copy of the document to begin the scavenger hunt.

      I hope that makes sense!

      Take care.

  20. Thank you so much for sharing! I changed the questions for state trivia to Kansas trivia and my kiddos seemed to really enjoy this lesson. They love the hands on learning, and I appreciate the wonderful idea! Blessings to you!

  21. This was sooooo great, my students (5th – 8th grades) loved it! I changed it to add information for Louisiana. Thank you!

  22. I was looking for something quick to do as a Tech Tuesday lesson for all the students in my middle school. Thanks for the great idea! I love it and it was very easy to edit!!

  23. How do we share this with our students so that they each can edit it the way the document requests but so that it doesn’t change the teacher document?

  24. Thank you so much for this fun activity! I will definitely use it as an introduction to Google Docs Unit.

  25. Thank you so much! I will use this to help my high school ESOL students learn Google Doc. I was able to use the translate feature to provide support documents to walk them through it. We’ll see how they do! Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Sara,

      I have not created an elementary version of my Google Document Scavenger Hunt, but you can make a copy of this and rework it if you want to use the concept with a younger group of students.

      Take care.

  26. Caitlin,
    Thank you for sharing this resource. It is perfect for my 9th grade “Digital Age Writing” class. I’m partial to Microsoft Word, but with virtual learning and google suite our school platform this is great. Even though we’ve been using google for a while, I find that students don’t know how to fully utilize all the features of docs!

    Thanks again!

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