Home > Literacy Activities > NonFiction Book Scavenger Hunt

NonFiction Book Scavenger Hunt

We spend a lot of time reading story books with the kids and both of mine knew how you held a book, where the spine should be and which way to open the pages and how to read it as when we read I would follow the words with my finger showing them which direction to read and how to read down a page and across to the next page in most books. However, we never really read a lot of nonfiction books and as this weeks #playfulpreschool theme is celebrating books I thought it was a perfect chance to do a Nonfiction Book Scavenger Hunt a fun way to teach preschoolers about the different parts common to nonfiction books and how to go about using them.

Nonfiction book scavenger hunt - a fun way to introduce preschoolers and kindergarten children to the parts of a nonfiction book
happy mom and her son reading on white via Shutterstock

What you will need

A nonfiction book that includes contents and an index having a glossary is also an advantage


Familiarize yourself with the chosen book – so that this activity can be used for any book in your collection I’ve left the prompts open-ended.

Learning Objectives

  • Become familiar with the parts of a nonfiction book
  • Identify common features of a nonfiction book
  • Start to use a nonfiction book

Nonfiction Book Scavenger Hunt Instructions

This is best done whilst it is quiet, using the prompts we sat down together and I first introduced the book, talking about how it’s read differently than a story book, that it’s called a nonfiction book and we use it to find out about things or learn more. We used an animal book that had a contents listing different types of animals, a glossary which described words that were new as well as an index of the animals in the book and the pages they were on.

T is able to identify the starting sounds of words and match the corresponding letter so we worked using that to first find a topic that would interest us in the contents. At her level, I read them out and then she said which topic she wanted to find out more about and we then found the page number and turned to that page in the book.

On the page, we read about the topic and then went back to the contents and repeated the process.

Next I asked her how we could find out information about a specific animal and showed her the index which listed the animals in the book. She chose a letter for an animal and we looked at the animals under that letter and found one we wanted to know more about and navigated to the page. We then repeated for a different letter and found a different animal.

The last part we looked at the glossary and I read a word and asked her what she thought it meant, we then compared her answer to the glossary. I then turned to a page in the book that I knew in advance would have a word in the glossary on and we read through until I came to that word and then asked what that meant. She didn’t know so I turned to the glossary and asked her what letter it started with and we then found the word in the glossary by matching the starting sounds and I explained the word.


In the Contents – read through all or some of the areas covered and ask for which one you want to learn more about – read the page number and navigate to the page

In the index – ask for a letter and read the words from that letter and then go to the page in the book and find the word from the index

Using the glossary read a word that you child doesn’t know and ask them what they think it means – then read the definition of the word

In advance find a page with a word that your child doesn’t know and is also in the glossary and read the information – when you get to the word ask what does it mean? Then go to the glossary find the word and read the definition.

More activities from the #playfulpreschool bloggers celebrating books

Preschool Invitation to Make Books by Mom Inspired Life
Parts of a Book Playdough Mats by Learning 2 Walk
Dramatic Play Library by Growing Book by Book
Tips for Story Time at the Library by Tiny Tots Adventures
Make a Reading Star Book Counting Chain by The Educators’ Spin On It

Nonfiction book scavenger hunt - a fun way to introduce preschoolers and kindergarten children to the parts of a nonfiction book

Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.


  1. This is a fantastic learning activity! I will have to try this with our kids. I know they would find it really interesting.

  2. Great idea and an excellent way to learn about the different parts of a nonfiction book.

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