Consumerism Scavenger Hunt

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Social Studies

Grade 5- 8


Students will work with a partner to use the Internet to conduct research about a series of questions that relate to consumers and their spending habits. Students will participate in a class discussion about the data they gathered regarding consumers and their spending habits. This will involve analyzing conflicting answers to questions.


When students enter the classroom, advertisements will be displayed everywhere. Have a videotape of advertisements playing. An audiotape of sample ads can also be running. As students assemble to begin class, mute audio and discontinue video. Open class by asking students what all of the items on display have in common. Facilitate a short discussion about the items and how they are related. Next, tell students they are about to embark on a journey where they will learn about advertising techniques, they will become more informed consumers, and they will use what they have learned to create and market a product that might make them rich and famous one day. Explain that in order to do this, they will need to be able to research and find information. Hand out the Consumerism Scavenger Hunt and the Internet Research Guidelines. Go over the directions on both with the group. Next, give students 1-2 minutes to find, or you can assign, scavenger hunt partners. Tell students that the group who has the most correct answers will receive some sort of prize. Give students the remainder of the class period to find as much information as possible using the Internet (preferably a lab setting). Shortly before the end of the class period, stop research and have students gather materials. Remind them that they can use other references to research in their free time and that they will have an additional class period to collect research on the next day.
On the next day, do a quick check-in with students to see that everyone has necessary handouts from the previous day. Remind students that they want to answer as many questions as they can accurately. Give them the remainder of the class period to work with their partners to conduct Internet research. Shortly before the end of the class period, collect each group's Scavenger Hunt answers.
On the third day, begin class by returning Scavenger Hunt papers to students. Use the class period to discuss the correct answers to the Scavenger Hunt questions. Encourage students to volunteer the information they found when answering each question. Be sure to discuss conflicting answers to various questions, as all students will not find identical information. At the end of the discussion, present prizes to winning group(s). If time permits, this would be a good day to have students complete index cards so the teacher can begin planning design teams that will be used on Day 12.


  • Consumerism Scavenger Hunt (see the link below)
  • Internet Research Guidelines (see the link below)
  • 1 or 2 small prizes for top group(s)

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