A simple, fun activity that combines map skills, writing, and creativity all into one. Using an Illinois map, students play the role of an ace detective trying to find Abraham Lincoln's stolen top hat. At each destination they must write down where they are until they catch the thief. After they are finished, students write their own "ace detective" or "treasure hunt" scenario from any state or country. This is where their creativity comes in!
Students can use atlases, online maps, or state political maps to complete the activity. I usually do this activity in pairs. Students then quickly exchange them the next class period for other groups to complete.