Find hidden treasure at St. Francis Elementary

Deciphering mysterious clues, carefully following directions, navigating obstacles and discovering treasure, St. Francis Elementary School kindergarten students put math and reading lessons to use during Friday’s Pirate Day.

Jayden Lex hugs her pirate pal, Ava Lofgren, as the girls imagine the next steps to take in order to find the treasure. Photo by Sue Austreng

Jayden Lex hugs her pirate pal, Ava Lofgren, as the girls imagine the next steps to take in order to find the treasure. Photo by Sue Austreng

Equipped with pirate gear and wearing eye patches, kerchiefs and beards, the students submitted to instructions delivered by their pirate captains (aka teachers).

After Capt. Anderson read to the students a note left by Capt. Swashbuckler – a note which declared, “A fortune is buried somewhere in your school!” – students agreed on a course to take.

Then the tiny treasure hunters tip-toed down the hallway, gathering secret clues strategically placed throughout the school building.

Eventually, the pint-sized pirates arrived on precarious property where they had to tackle tough obstacles before uncovering the hidden treasure.

And finally, “We did it! We found it!” exclaimed triumphant treasure hunters after navigating the obstacle course, which had them throwing foam cannon balls, tossing life preservers and walking the plank before they discovered the treasure chest.

Not only did students find the hidden treasure, they constructed three-dimensional buildings (grocery stores, post office, school buildings, houses, car washes, movie theaters and more) to make up a model city on display in room 18.

“This is really the culminating activity for the mapping unit, the 3D shape unit, letter and number recognition, reading and phy ed. The kids love it and we have great fun doing it, too,” said kindergarten teacher Beth Anderson (aka Capt. Anderson).

All six St. Francis Elementary School kindergarten classes participate in Pirate Day each year at about this time.

“It’s the culmination of their unit on mapping, which correlates to the Minnesota state social studies standards as well as math standards,” said Angie Hylen, ELL teacher at St. Francis.

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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