Matariki Scavenger Hunt Reading Comprehension Activity

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Categories: , , , , , , , , ,
GradeYear 4, Year 5, Year 6
Reading ComprehensionMain Idea & Details
Type of ResourceScavenger Hunt


This Matariki Scavenger Hunt lesson is an engaging gallery walk activity that incorporates reading comprehension, informational text, finding text evidence, student movement and problem-solving skills.

This is a great introduction to your Matariki and Māori cultural activities..

Instead of hunting for “locations,” students will hunt for code words. All you have to do is print the 10 reading passage cards, cut them in half, and hang or hide them around your classroom!

Students will revisit the non-fiction text multiple times practising reading comprehension skills as they rotate around the room seeking text evidence. To ensure understanding of the subject matter, students will answer questions that MUST be found directly in the reading passages. No prior knowledge is needed.


✏️ 10 Reading Passages on Matariki

✏️ 10 Question Trails

✏️ Student Recording Sheet

✏️ Student Directions

✏️ Teacher Directions

✏️ Teacher Answer Key

✏️ Completion poster

This fun front-loading lesson includes 10 short reading passages, a final mystery word, a question trail and a final problem to solve. Each card reveals a new code word. The correct code words are not only found on a different card but also must be found IN the reading passage. Students must follow the trail in the correct order to add the correct words, revealing the secret letters. Students unscramble these letters to unlock the final codeword.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Students choose a reading card to start at and may start at ANY card. They read the passage and look at the question at the bottom labelled “code word”. The code word for THAT card number will lead them to a different card. But here’s the catch… students will NOT know where to find the answer so they will have to visit, skim, browse and revisit the clue cards and reading passages several times to find the answer they are seeking. (The more times they read or skim, the greater the chances of the info sinking in!)

Is it still a scavenger hunt? It sure is! Students are roaming around the room hunting for answers. With large groups it’s often too hard to hide clues without the first group giving away the location once a clue has been found. This format ensures that ALL students can participate, and the “answers” will not be revealed by students who “finish” first.

You can hang the cards on the wall, scatter them on the floor, place them on desks, hide them or use as stations. How you choose to set it up in your classroom is up to you.

Students can work in pairs (or individually) and race to complete 10 questions, secret word and secret code. A friendly competition always increases engagement.

Skills Used:
✔️ Reading Comprehension
✔️ Critical Thinking
✔️ Citing Evidence
✔️ Problem Solving

Options for Use:
✏️ Anticipatory Sets
✏️ Early Finishers
✏️ Gallery Walk
✏️ Stations or Centers
✏️ Sub Plans
✏️ Rewards
✏️ Individual Work
✏️ Partner Activities
✏️ Extension Activities