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Lesson Title: Exploring Earth's History Through a Natural History Museum Scavenger Hunt

K-12 Educators Feb 23, 2024

As educators, we know that your expertise and creativity play a crucial role in delivering effective and engaging learning experiences. We wanted to help get your students up and moving and even more engaged in your already awesome lessons! As such, we’ve designed this lesson plan that can be used while taking part in a field trip with your students to your local Natural History Museum. It is simple, perfect for elementary-age students, and is intended to be versatile so that you can easily change it up to make it an effective tool for your unique student and classroom needs! Once you’ve taught the curriculum content in the classroom, feel free to use this template alongside a Goosechase Interactive Experience to help make your field trip and student engagement stronger!

Grade: 3 - 7

Subject: History, Social Studies


  • Students will engage with geological and paleontological exhibits in a natural history museum setting to deepen their understanding of Earth's history.
  • Students will develop critical thinking and observational skills through participation in a museum scavenger hunt.


In-class Preparation:

We suggest downloading the Goosechase App the day before your field trip to ensure all students are ready to go and to avoid any day-of technical questions.

  • Icebreaker Activity:
    • Discuss students' favorite prehistoric animals or geological formations to spark excitement about the upcoming museum visit.
  • Overview of the Activity:
    • Explain that the class will explore Earth's history by examining fossils, rocks, and exhibits related to geological events.
    • Emphasize the connection between the museum visit and their current science curriculum.
    • Introduce the museum Goosechase Experience as a fun and interactive way to achieve these objectives.
  • App Set-Up 
    • Dedicate time to ensuring all students have the Goosechase app downloaded and joined to the Experience to avoid any tech issues the morning of your Museum visit. 
Share this link with students to easily download the app!

Museum Visit and Scavenger Hunt:

  • Upon Arrival at the Museum 
    • Emphasize the importance of respectful behavior in the museum, particularly when handling exhibits.
  • Guided Tour or Orientation:
    • Begin the museum visit with a guided tour or orientation by museum staff, focusing on exhibits related to geological eras and prehistoric life.
    • Provide students with background information on key exhibits related to the science curriculum.
  • Scavenger Hunt Instructions:
    • Briefly explain the instructions again, emphasizing the importance of careful observation and critical thinking.
    • Discuss the significance of teamwork and cooperation during the scavenger hunt.
  • Scavenger Hunt Exploration:
    • Allow students to explore the museum in small groups, guiding them toward exhibits that align with their curriculum.
    • Encourage students to use their observation skills to find specific fossils, identify rock formations, and complete tasks on the Goosechase mission list.
    • Documentation of student observations are recorded within the Goosechase app and automatically saved to their camera roll.


  • Group Discussion:
    • Bring students together to discuss their scavenger hunt experiences.
    • Encourage them to share interesting discoveries, challenges faced, and connections made to their science curriculum.
  • Reflection Activity:
    • Distribute reflection worksheets or journals
    • Prompt students to reflect on how the interactive experience deepened their understanding of Earth's history and the concepts studied in class.

Optional activities upon return to the classroom:

1) Conclusion and Follow-Up:

  • Summarize:
    • Summarize the key takeaways from the museum visit, highlighting the geological eras and prehistoric life they explored.
    • Emphasize how the experience connects to their ongoing science studies.
    • Download Goosechase submissions and create a presentation for the class, highlighting exceptional photos or videos. Use them as discussion starters for students to share stories and reflect as a team on what they experienced.
  • Follow-Up Activities:
    • Assign follow-up activities, such as creating a mini-presentation on a favorite exhibit or writing a short essay on the significance of fossils in understanding Earth's history.
    • Discuss the importance of connecting museum experiences to academic studies.

2) Assessment:

  • Assessment will be based on participation in the scavenger hunt, group discussions, and the quality of reflections.

3) Homework Assignment:

  • Students may be assigned a follow-up project based on their museum experience.

Want a copy of this lesson plan to use with your class? Click to download!

What is Goosechase EDU?

Goosechase is an online platform that helps educators create and run interactive learning experiences in their classrooms and beyond. Sign up and try creating an Experience, or contact us to learn more about our school and district-wide solutions!


Rebecca Everson

Goosechase EDU Ambassador Program Manager & K-6 Teacher