Friday, June 17, 2011

Surprise Box

The surprise box is something I did with 4 year olds in order to reduce the need for show and tell.  They can only bring something that will fit in the box and they have to think about the clues.  It makes children use their critical thinking skills as well as helps children reduce fear of talking in front of others.
First you need a box you can not see through.
I tape these directions on the side.

      Before I send the box  home I send home a note explaining the process to parents and to allow students to come up with the clues.  I also encourage them to help their children write the clues themselves. Then I send it home with each child in alphabetical order by first name. 
That keeps me organized and also helps kids with the letters in the alphabet.
I do an example before I let the kids can take it home.
1. It is pink.
2. I use it in the dark.
3. It lights up.

It is a flashlight.

As the year goes, I hang up some of the clue sheets to show parents what others have been bringing in, but also to show them how they can encourage students to become more involved in the clue making process.
So you get clue sheets like this

and as the kids get better at writing this

Some kids liked giving clues the others could guess easily while others made it more difficult.  All the kids enjoyed the experience
Surprise Box
Chose something to put in the box.
Write 3 clues to describe the object.
Practice saying the clues so you can
share with the class.


  1. What a terrific way to get parents more involved!

  2. I love this idea! Great alternative to the traditional show and tell - and great way to encourage literacy! Deb @

  3. I like this big time and might implement this to my group activities in my family daycare thank you for sharing!

  4. My girls's kindergarten teacher does something similar. She has a coffee can that she decorated with colorful tape. Then she sends fun pieces of paper home in the tin for the kids to write their clues on.

  5. This is a must do activity - thanks for sharing!