Library Scavenger Hunt (Elementary)

I’ve always loved scavenger hunts and similar games (my family used to watch the Amazing Race together religiously before we got rid of our cable).  This is a hunt I’ve created for 4th- and 5th- grade elementary school students, the purpose of which is to help familiarize them with the library, the Dewey Decimal system, the different resources the library offers, etc.  And hopefully, the kids have fun in the process too!


  • Students complete X number of questions depending on time and level of expertise
  • Students can work in pairs
  • You can customize these questions according to the needs and set-up your library

1. Find one of your friends and tell him/her about one of your favorite books — could be a childhood favorite, or something that you just read this summer.

Title of the Book: __________________________________________________________

Friend’s Signature: ________________________________________________________

2. Go to the Biography section in the library and browse the shelves.  Write down the title of one of the books in this area that you’d like to read, and why.

I would like to read _________________________________________________________ because________________________________________________________________________.

3. Go to the Fiction area and find a book whose author shares the first letter of your last name — or better yet, someone who has the same last name! Browse this area and write down the title and author of one book you’d like to read.

Author: ____________________________________________________________________

Title: ______________________________________________________________________

4. Choose a number from 0 to 9.  Multiply it by 100, then browse that section of the Non- Fiction books.  (e.g. 2 x 100 = 200, so I would look at books in the 200s)

a. What is the non-fiction section you chose (000 to 900): ______

b. What are some topics covered in this section? _____________________________________

c. What is the title of a book you might like to read in this section? _____________________________________________________________________________

d. What is the call number of the book you chose? ________

5. Find a book in this library that has been turned into a movie (not Harry Potter!)  

Title: _________________________________________________________________________

I preferred the book/movie (circle one) because ______________________________


6. Find a riddle or a joke and write it down.

Title of book I found it in:  ____________________________________________________

Author and call number: ______________________________________________________

The joke/riddle:______________________________________________________________



7. Think of your favorite animal.  Then, look that animal up in one of our encyclopedias.

a. What animal did you choose?  _____________________________________________

b. Volume number and page number where you found the animal: ______________________________________________________________________________

c. Now try finding the same animal in our Non-Fiction section (e.g. animal books are in the 590s).  Write down the title of the book: __________________________________________________________________________

The author and call number :_____________________________________________

Which resource gave you more information — the encyclopedia or the book?  (circle one)

8. Find three books written by Patricia Polacco (hint: even though she writes for older students, her picture books are filed under “easy”).  

Book 1: _____________________________________________________________________

Book 2: _____________________________________________________________________

Book 3: _____________________________________________________________________

9. Find three books written by Cynthia Rylant (hint: she writes picture books, easy chapter books, and novels):

Book 1: _____________________________________________________________________

Book 2: _____________________________________________________________________

Book 3: _____________________________________________________________________

10. Write down the title and author of a MYSTERY series:


11. Write down the title and author of a FANTASY series:


12. Write down the title and author of a HISTORICAL series:


13. Help!  I am looking for a recipe to make for tonight’s dinner.  Please find me a cookbook and a yummy recipe!

Title of cookbook:____________________________________________________________

Author and call number: ______________________________________________________

Recipe name: ________________________________________________________________

Number of ingredients: ____________

Page number: __________

14. I just got a new pet!  Please help me find a book that will show me how to take care of it!

Pet: _________________________________________________________________________

Title of book: __________________________________________________________________

Author and call number: ______________________________________________________

One helpful tip: _____________________________________________________________


 15. I am an aspiring artist.  Please help me find a book about a famous artist!

Title of book: __________________________________________________________________

Author and call number: ______________________________________________________

Artist name:  ___________________________________________________________________

Year of birth/death of the artist: ________________________________________________

The title of a famous painting done by the artist:  ______________________________

The artist’s style (impressionism, abstract, cubism, etc.): ________________________

16. List 4 different kinds of REFERENCE books we have in this library, and how you would use them:

1. ___________________________________________________________________________

2. ___________________________________________________________________________

3. ___________________________________________________________________________

4. ___________________________________________________________________________

17. Find a book in the library about the state (or country!) in which you were born.


Name the states that border your chosen state:  _______________________________

Are there any state parks in your state?  If so, name one: ________________________

An interesting fact about the arts/literature/sports from your state: _____________________________________________________________________________

18. You would like to conduct an easy and safe science experiment.  Find a book of experiments and an experiment that uses materials you can find at home or school.

Title of book: _________________________________________________________________

Author and call number: ______________________________________________________

Experiment: __________________________________________________________________

Page number: _________________________________________________________________

Number of “ingredients/material” you’ll need to gather: ________________________

19. Find the magazine section.  Find a magazine you might enjoy reading.

Title of the magazine: __________________________________________________________

The title of an article in the magazine you might want to read: ________________________________________________________________________________

Skim the article…what is one thing you might learn from it? ________________________________________________________________________________

20. Your school is celebrating World Day by putting on an International Fair.  Which section of the library could you find books about different countries, their customs, foods, etc.? 

Section of the library where country books are located: ________________________

Title of a book about a country you’d learn more about: _____________________________________________________________________________

Author and call number: _______________________________________________________

Skim the book and write down one interesting fact about the country chosen: ________________________________________________________________________________


3 thoughts on “Library Scavenger Hunt (Elementary)

  1. Kristen Heffern says:

    I love this! You are so amazingly creative. I wanted to let you know I used a link to this idea for a discussion board post on “reading promotion ideas” for my IS551 class with Dr. Welch!


  2. jchenlin says:

    Glad you liked these Kristen! I did this hunt with 4th and 5th graders last week and they loved it. I had to do some extra straightening of the shelves, but it was all worth it when several students checked out books that they found during the scavenger hunt! My goal was to have them go into sections they otherwise wouldn’t have ventured into. 🙂


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