Take your students on a Video Scavenger Hunt

Video Scavenger HuntTeaching the basics of videography and editing to students can feel like a daunting experience sometimes. However, a simple and fun lesson I have developed for my students has proven to pay off with their progress.

Take your students on a video scavenger hunt! Who doesn’t like a scavenger hunt?! By following this lesson, you will be able to teach the basics of Wide, Medium and Tight shots, but you don’t have to worry about storytelling just yet. Then have students take the video they shot during the activity and teach them how to edit those shots together.

I will follow up this post with the editing portion, but here’s my Video Scavenger Hunt activity.

Video Scavenger Hunt

The object of this activity is to give you an opportunity to use a camcorder with a purpose.  You are to travel around school, looking for the following video items – all the time practicing skills with the camcorder.  Each person in the group must have hands-on time.  Do NOT disrupt any classes!


  • You MUST use a tripod (if you don’t have a tripod, find a flat surface to set your camera on. Shaky shots are amateur.)
  • Shots can be recorded in any order (videos are very rarely ever shot in the order they will be edited)
  • Identify the shot number by speaking it into the camera as it is recording
  • Each person in the group must have their own set of shots

WS = Wide shot   *  MS = Medium shot   *  T = Tight shot

Record EACH shot for at least 15 seconds! (later in editing, we will only choose the best 3-5 seconds of each shot, so we want a lot to choose from)

  1. Your group walking down a hallway -WS
  2. Zoom in on a car in the parking lot (don’t get the camera wet if its raining!) – T
  3. An art teacher or a work of art – MS
  4. One of the snack or soda machines – T
  5. A trophy case – T to WS (will have to zoom)
  6. Students using computers – MS
  7. Something red. – T
  8. A teacher, sleeping. Or doing something else – MS
  9. Shaking hands with a campus police officer, or a Principal. – WS (yes you MUST shake their hand for 15 seconds. Awkward is fun.)
  10. Interview Rule of Third (proper nose room) for ALL group members. When framed for the interview, each person MUST record and capture saying their name and spelling it. – MS-T (top of the shoulders and up)

Due the end of class – work efficiently & keep the shots steady!

Once students have all their shots, you’re now ready to edit. Inevitably, some of their shots will be slanted, out of focus, not close enough, etc, and that’s fine. Once the students edit their video together later, I would highly recommend you offer them the chance to fix any shots they want. Reshooting and revising your videos are all a part of a successful production.

Check back later for the editing sequence and grade sheet. Until then, have fun!



Don Goble

Don Goble is an award-winning Broadcast, Technology, Multimedia and Film Instructor at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis. Journalism Education Association's National Broadcast Adviser of the Year in 2015, Don is also an Apple Distinguished Educator, PBS Lead Digital Innovator and author who advocates for media and digital literacy for all learners. Don masterfully engages students to author and craft media messages to build their voice and share their story.

Don Goble has 52 posts and counting. See all posts by Don Goble

6 thoughts on “Take your students on a Video Scavenger Hunt

  • January 26, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    I have done this for the last three years with my students. I ask them to also shoot one standup shot in each location keeping in mind the background has to illustrate something or have a degree of depth. NO FLAT SURFACES like lockers or walls. I like your something red idea…I would also like to see how you grade this and cross check it with mine.

    Thanks for this
    Justin N.
    STV – Staples High School, Westport Ct.

  • January 28, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    I love this idea! My students use Movie Studio, but I would love to see your editing guidelines and rubric. Could you post it or send it to me as well?

  • February 2, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Great idea! I would love to do this with my middle school TV Studio Production Classes. I have large classes — average 30 students per grade level. I have two 6th grades, two 7th and two 8th grade classes. A total of over 200 kids. How do you organize the actual scavenger? How do you separate each of the students video recordings? Do you use SD cards for each student? If so, would they have to insert their SD card when it’s their turn to record their shots? I am just trying to conceptualize it visually in my head to avoid any hiccups with such large classes. Please advise..

    Joe Herrera
    TV Studio Production Teacher

  • February 2, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Hey, Joe and Gina! Not sure what you mean about organizing the scavenger hunt, but basically I have groups of 2-3 students follow the shot list of subjects I create for them. Each student is responsible for capturing their own footage so they each take turns behind the camera. I do have them take out their partner’s SD card and use their own. This saves time for importing and editing and doesn’t put the onus on one student to be responsible for all of the footage. Inevitably, it would get lost…or something would go wrong. It’s not a race to see who finishes first, but rather who can capture the most accurate shots.

    Gina – to answer your question about grading, I simply attach points if the shot was captured correctly. I use this resource from educator Jon Corippo to teach editing, and then have the students edit the shots in the order I presented them on the shot list. This teaches them how to follow a shot list in the future.

    I hope this helps you both and good luck!

  • January 19, 2023 at 12:36 am

    I love this lesson! I would be curious to see the editing sequence and grade sheet! Can that be sent to me? It’s hard to motivate students in my Intro to Journalism class (and teach these skills in Broadcast I), but today they were LOVING this! I’d love to round this out next week with the next steps. Thank you so much for this helpful website!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.