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ESL Giving Directions Treasure Hunt

ESL Giving Directions Treasure Hunt

Students work in groups to create clues for a treasure hunt. Each group writes directions for another group to follow and find a treasure. An ESL writing activity for practicing directions.

Level:  Intermediate

Topic:  Giving directions

Time:  60 minutes


  • Colored paper – a different color for each group.
  • Cut the paper into 5 cards each.
  • Prizes for each group.



Students get into groups of three to five.


Ask students to decide 4 places in the building to hide clues. Remind students to speak softly and keep the locations secret.


Ask each group to get a piece of paper. Students write "our classroom" at the top and their 4 places underneath. Next, number the places in order from 1 – 5.

For example:

1. Our classroom

2. Teacher’s room

3. 2nd floor staircase

4. Entrance

5. Room #314


Pass out the colored cards (each group gets a different color).


At the top of each card, students write the number and where the clue originates.

For example:

1. From our classroom…

2. From the teacher’s room…

3. From the 2nd floor staircase

4. From the entrance…

5. Room #314… Finished! Here’s your treasure!


Then, students write directions to the next clue. The fifth card is the final card and is placed with the treasure. Students can write a celebratory message on the fifth card.


Once students finish writing directions, the next phase is to hide the clues and the treasure. Tell students to keep Clue #1. Then, look at the top of the card where the clue originates and hide the clue there.

For example:

1. From our classroom… (keep, don’t hide)

2. From the teacher’s room… (hide in the teacher’s room)

3. From the 2nd floor staircase (hide in the 2nd floor staircase)

4. From the entrance… (hide in the entrance)

5. Room #314… Finished! Here’s your treasure! (hide in room #314 with the treasure)


Then, collect Card #1 from each group and redistribute. Give students time to complete their treasure hunt. Remind students to only collect clues that are the same color (e.g., if the first clue is orange, then only look for orange clues).

Extended Practice

Collect the clues and review common errors together as a class.


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