LIFE Skills students should have lots of opportunities to be in the community to practice transition skills.
The problem comes up with making all those trips meaningful. Too often, there is not a ton of money or a need to shop for items every week. Using a scavenger hunt activity is a great way to keep meaning in the community trips without busting the budget.
Same Place Again?
I have heard this one before. “Do we really have to go to the same place as last time? The students get bored with always going shopping.” Well. Yeah. You do. And I ask you this. How many different grocery stores do you shop at for your household? I, personally, have a community favorite that I always go to- every week. More if I forget something. Occasionally I will stop at a different store for something special. There is a certain store that has a great deal on meat every so often and I try not to miss it. Otherwise, I go to the same place. Don’t you? Truth is most people are creatures of habit. We go to the place we like, that is convenient, or that has the best deals. We find our favorite and become loyal customers. So it is not unusual to ask that we keep that loyalty when it comes to Community Based Instructional sites. Doing repeated visits helps students to really understand and become familiar with where things are, how to navigate independently, how long it will take them to find things, and how the check-out process works.
Stop Breaking the Bank
It is hard to go through all the effort of getting students prepared to go out into the community, get them on the bus and safely to the site, and then keep tabs on them once you are there. Truth of the matter is, as a teacher, you may feel like getting through all those steps entitles all the students to at least buy themselves a snack! But… all those snacks add up. As a teacher, we want students to have lots of community experiences without it being a hardship on families. And we want students to understand that not all community trips end in a bag of flamin’ hots! Sometimes we go out and come back without anything at all.
Why a Scavenger Hunt
I mean, isn’t a scavenger hunt so fake? Well, no. It is practicing all the skills we want to sharpen. We are asking a student to think about what they want, navigate by finding it in the store, and then return to the front with their items. This is a huge skill for some students. Granted, you may have some higher level students who this does not challenge. They go to the store a lot with their families and have responsibilities when they shop. Most students, even high functioning ones, simply don’t. Scavenger hunts like this are a great practice tool for students to sharpen the skills needed to build independence.
My Students Aren’t Ready
Not all students are able to be do Community Based Instruction for long amounts of time and may be too challenged with an activity like this. Work on prerequisite skills by doing a scavenger hunt in the store flyers. I know I get a million of them every week in my mailbox- put those suckers to work! At least then students who are not yet able can work on the processing needed to be successful at the store until their time in the community comes.
Okay, Gimme My Freebie!
Pop over to the NoodleNook Teachers Pay Teachers site and download the FREE 7-card scavenger hunt set by going to the activity preview. If you like what you see, download the entire set. Want something specific to your students? Use the preview file as a guide for making your own. Either way, get your students working on community skills- and repetition is not a problem, make trips meaningful, and don’t burden families by unnecessarily asking for fists full of money.