Systems of Equations Treasure Hunt


This idea came (to me) from Shannon Sookochof of Edmonton. It’s simple, and fun.

Hide some kind of treat somewhere in the school, and your class finds it by solving systems of equations. It does require some planning.

  • Superimpose a coordinate grid over a map of your school, and project this to the front of your classroom.
  • Set up enough cards with linear equations on them so that each student in your class has one. These cards should contain linear equations in various forms.
  • The equations need to be planned so that three of them intersect in the same point and so that every other intersection is unique.
  • Have the students mingle. When two students meet, they show each other their cards and calculate where their two lines intersect. They plot this point on the grid you have put at the front of the room.
  • The first time a point of intersection appears more than once, they have found the location of the treasure. They head off and pick up the cookies you baked (or bought).

Because of the planning involved, I can make this a little easier. I can’t superimpose a grid on the map of your school. I don’t have a map of your school.

This is a word document containing 10 equations to get you started. If you have a small class, this is all you need. Treasure Hunt Equations If you use this document, manipulate the school map so the treasure is hidden at (1,-6) and it should all work out.

For bigger classes, you could probably insert random equations and be OK. There is a chance that you’ll make an equation that has a solution that mixes the students up.

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