Monday, May 12, 2008

Panwapa - Treasure Hunt

We continued our work at the Panwapa website in the first grade. We had taken a break from directly working with the site for a few weeks. The students enjoy the website and have asked to use it after they finished other tasks in computer class. They definitely have an attraction to it. I sent the user names and passwords home. Several students have told me that they have used it at home, as well.

I wanted to show the students how to use the Treasure Hunt option this week. This time, I had them work in pairs. It allowed me to have half the number of computers active on the Internet at the same time which sped up potential bottlenecks.

Before doing this in class, it's a good idea to run a couple of treasure hunts yourself. I found that it was easiest to show the students how to do the first hunt, one item, by clicking on the single category around the magnifying glass.

When the second hunt moves on to two categories, it's time to use the magnifying glass. It is useful to go over all these examples with the children before setting them off
on their own.

Using the magnifying glass opens up a map color key feature on the various little islands. For example, categories in this example were: electric guitar and tennis lovers.

You can see by the dark brown shading that this category has many children who like electric guitars and tennis. When you click on the tennis island, it only shows those houses of children who also happen to like the electric guitar. The shading becomes even more important when you have three categories to match on the last treasure hunt.

When you find three matches, you are rewarded with a Panwapa card. The first graders worked happily in pairs for the entire 35 minute time period and want to do it again next week.


  1. Thank you for sharing how you're using this site. I've looked at it before but have not tried it with my students. I'm hoping to take a closer look at it this summer. In other words it's on my growing summer To Do List! Figuring out how to use it will be easier with posts like yours. I'll let you know how things go if I use it next year.

  2. Nedra:
    I'm glad you found the post useful. When I'm trying something new, I really like hearing how other teachers have approached a program. Your summer to do list sounds a lot like mine. It's nice to have the time to explore, play, and recharge my batteries in preparation for a new school year.