The Elements of Nonfiction Scavenger Hunt guides students as they review text and discover a purpose for reading. This strategy helps provide a foundation for teaching students what “good readers do” and can be applied to more complex texts across disciplines.

Math Example

Math Example of Elements of NonFiction Scavenger Hunt

Discipline-Specific Variation: Math 

We believe that any instructional resource needs to be fit for your students and your specific discipline, so we provide easily editable versions. The examples pictured here illustrate how a Math teacher may adapt the Elements of a Nonfiction Scavenger Hunt for their class. In this example, students are asked to locate information on how to solve a specific math equation (i.e. finding x-intercept in a linear equation) by marking important pages and engaging with a predominately visual text. A science teacher may have different challenges. Science textbook chapters can often be lengthy; having students to pull out “key headings” may help them interact more personally with the text. These example adaptions of the Elements of Nonfiction Scavenger Hunt required only minor changes. After the strategy has been used it can then be used as a reference sheet by students throughout the rest of the unit.

Science Example

Science Example of Elements of Nonfiction Scavenger Hunt

How to Adapt the Strategy 

“Scavenging” can be a first, relatively easy, step in the process of analyzing complex content. Be sure to remind students to include page numbers. Boxes can be enlarged for students with occupational therapy needs and/or difficulty fitting within a text box.

Blank Elements of Nonfiction Scavenger Hunt #1 and #2 (Microsoft Word) 

Filled out Math and Science Example


Ippolito, J., Lawrence, J.F., Zaller, C. (2013) Adolescent Literacy in the Era of the Common Core. Harvard Education Press, Cambridge.