The Europe Diverse and United ERASMUS+ project realized an activity for primary school students during the Christmas Bazaar organized by Doukas School on 25th November 2023. The aim of the activity was to enhance students’ European identity through playing and having fun in the context of a scavenger hunt, around the school’s premises, to find the secret room of an EU country assigned to their team while learning about that country, its history, its culture and its traditions!
The activity is based on the concept of the scavenger hunt, meaning that students would have to navigate through a specific path, finding clues to lead them from one point to the other, until they reach the “treasure” of the hunt, in this case a classroom that had been decorated with elements from a randomly chosen but specific European Union member state.
At each location, students would find a QR code that led them to a question relative to their assigned country, which if replied correctly would point the team to the next location that the next hidden clue would be found.
For the realization of the activity, the appropriate preparations would have to be made by the EDUValues project team. More specifically:
SETTING UP THE GAME PLATFORM
For the activity, as mentioned, students would scan a QR code from a mobile device (tablet administered to them), that would lead them to the question that they would have to answer. To do that, the NewsEdu team offered its web development capabilities and its server and website to host the EDUValues Scavenger Hunt platform. The content was developed by the EDUValues team and implemented in collaboration with NewsEdu. The technical setup was simple. There would be a space for the activity which would host 4 country specific sections. Each country would have 4 subsections with 4 questions and each question would have 2 sub-sections, the correct and the wrong answer. The wrong answer would encourage students to try again while the correct answer would point to the location of the next clue.
CONTENT OF THE ACTIVITY
The EDUValues project team developed the content for the platform for each of the 4 randomly chosen countries (Germany, France, Poland, Portugal). Each country had 4 multiple choice questions that, in most cases, would require students to research online to find the answer to and that focused on interesting facts characterizing the country, its history, culture, geography, biodiversity, etc. The underlying aim of the questions was to spark students interest towards getting to know another European Union county, thus motivating him/her, to further inquire and learn about that country and other EU countries.
PREPARATION OF THE COUNTRY ROOMS
For each of the chosen countries, a classroom was selected, and was decorated with visual elements (e.g., flag, traditional dresses, traditional food/sweets, etc.) and information (e.g., famous cities, monuments, traditions, etc.), relating to the country. Each room would also have a table that would have a traditional food or sweet from that country and a table with a Christmas gift bag for each student. The bag contained an sealed food bag with the traditional food/sweet, a Christmas recipe by that country, a small Christmas gift and an information sheet about the country presenting the local Christmas traditions and Christmas wishes in the local language (e.g., Merry Christmas and Happy New Year).
Doukas School primary school in collaboration with Doukas School EDUValues project team set up and facilitated the process of parents registering their primary school children to the event. Through this process partners were informed about the activity and that at least one per student participant would have to attend an informative session about the project. Follow-up communication to parents followed up to the day of the event to ensure its smooth realization.
The activity was realized through the implementation of the following phases at the day of the event:
INFORMATIVE EVENT FOR PARENTS
For each of the student participants, it was mandatory, that at least one of the parents would have to attend the informative event organized 45 minutes prior to the commencement of the activity. During this informative session, parents were presented with information about the project, its objectives, its results and how they could motivate their children and facilitate the process of knowing the differences and similarities between the different EU countries, and why we celebrate the uniqueness of each one and build on our common features, thus adding to and reinforcing their EU identity.
START OF THE ACTIVITY
At this first phase of the activity, project team members along with Doukas School teachers, gathered students and informed them about the European Union. Following the presentation, students were divided into 4 teams of 5 students each and their were assigned with a country, one of the 4 chosen (Germany, France, Poland, Portugal). At the same space, each student team received 2 tablets each, one to scan the QR codes and answer the questions, and on to be able to search online for the answers, and given the first QR code with the first country question.
Following the clue that teach student team received following their correct response to the first question, each one relocated to the location of the 2nd question in search of the hidden QR code of their country. Each team was accompanied by teachers and EDUValues project team members throughout their “journey” towards the hidden country room. For each question students collaborated to search online for information that would allow them to choose the correct response. The same process was repeated throughout the 4 questions and 4 clues until students reached the hidden room, a specific classroom of the school for each of the countries.
HIDDEN COUNTRY ROOM
During their time in the country hidden room students wondered around and came in contact with the visual elements and information sheets (country information, famous cities, well-known monuments, traditional dresses, etc.) and were asked to search and find 5 interesting facts for their assigned country.
CLOSING OF THE ACTIVITY
Following their time in the hidden room students gathered again at the classroom they begun the hunt and each team presented the interesting facts they found, to the other teams. They were also asked to exchange, if they want, the second traditional food/sweet they had with one of their classmates from the other teams, in this way they could taste something from another country!