Posted by: jockmackenzie | May 1, 2009

Opening Activity – The Pot of Gold

The Pot of Gold isn’t my invention – but like so many effective activities that have found their way into my toolbox, I can’t remember where it orignated. I first played “Pot of Gold” in my elementary school gym classes; now I use it with my small pull-out classes at West Park Middle School.

Before the students arrive, hide a coin. A key factor is to hide it in plain sight, both a gym and a classroom are too big to start putting the coin under something or too high up. As students arrive, they look for the coin. Here’s the fun part. As each student finds the coin, he/she does not exclaim, “Yipee, I found it!” or any such variation. Nor is the coin picked up. In fact, upon spying the “gold,” the student pretends to keep looking, and moves away from the spot. The student then sits down and enjoys watching the others as they search.

Once the entire class has arrived, the first person to spot the coin gets the privilege of showing the hiding spot to those who were unsuccessful. This student and perhaps a few more will earn a coupon for their efforts. The kids love it, it fills that idle moment (even before beginning the anticipatory set written each day on the whiteboard), and, until I move on to another opening activity, it makes school “kinda fun.”

Gold Coin p42100071

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