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Treasure hunt

To explore the Christian belief of people being God’s treasure.

by The Revd Oliver Harrison

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To explore the Christian belief of people being God’s treasure.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need three coins and an accomplice outside the room for the game.
  • Optional: A metal detector to show or demonstrate.


  1. Talk about metal detectors, what they are, how they are used, and demonstrate if you have one.

    Explain that you have some human metal detectors in school today – in fact they are treasure detectors, and what’s more, they don’t even know who they are! Ask for some volunteers and pick a few (six maximum). They should be prepared to make the sound of a metal detector: a low whine when there’s no metal and a high-pitched whine when there is. You could have some fun auditioning people for this task. If you’re feeling brave, let the whole assembly have a go!
  2. Gather your volunteer detectors and ensure that everyone knows that they are genuine, they don’t know what’s going to happen. Send them out of the room to be briefed by your accomplice. The accomplice will tell them that when you say, ‘Is there any treasure here?’ they make a low hum for ‘No’. But if you say, ‘Any here?’ they make a high-pitched hum for ‘Yes’. It is the use of the words ‘Is there’ at the beginning of your question that triggers the low hum meaning ‘No’.
  3. While the volunteers are out of the room, produce your three coins and ask for six more volunteers. They are to stand in different places around the room. Give coins to three of them, and be sure to remember who has the treasure. Ask the volunteers to hold their fists in front of them whether they have the treasure or not.

    Bring in the ‘treasure detectors’. Explain to the children that the detectors are programmed to detect only the coins in the fists.

    Run the game, asking the ‘Is there’ question for the children who do not have the coins, and asking ‘Any here?’ for those who do.
  4. At the end of the game ask all the children to sit down. You could explain how it was done, or ask the children for their ideas, or say that you will reveal all at the next assembly.
  5. Talk about Jesus’ story about a woman who lost a coin and searched all day until she found it (Luke 15.8–9). Say that some Christians believe that this is one way that Jesus had of telling us that we are like God’s treasure, we are special to him. Christians believe that God never wants us to lose him, and if we do, he comes looking for us and finds us. Or it could be a story about us looking for God and not giving up until we find him.

Time for reflection


Have you ever lost something and searched hard for it?

Did the lost thing turn up eventually?

What’s your most precious possession, the thing you’d most hate to lose?

What else can you lose apart from possessions? Can you lose friendship, or interest, or respect, or even joy and fun?

What is it most important to look after in life?



Dear God,

Thank you for the story of the lost coin and the woman who searched all day until she found it.

Thank you that you are like that woman, searching for us to love us and care for us.



‘Thank you, Lord’ (Come and Praise, 32)

Publication date: May 2008   (Vol.10 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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