What’s in the box?

Just a quick slice today lots to do and places to be! Tonight we get to go to a retirement party for my husband’s boss. He retired this week after thirty-two years on the job. As always with these things it’s bitter-sweet. Sad to see him go, but excited for the new chapter in his life. And happy for my husband as he is next in line for the position the boss leaves behind. Warm thoughts and well wishes are sent to both in the beginning of their new history.

On a wittier note today was “Mystery Box” day in first grade! The kids were so excited. After noticing it sitting on the reading table all day; they finally got to shake the box, smell it, and listen to it. They then used four clues to try and figure out what was inside. The clues were:

 It comes from the ground.

 It has many uses.

 It can be helpful.

It has been around for a long time.

I was amazed at the ingenuity of their guesses. They guessed everything from worms, water and rocks to robots and rockets. One boy made a very intuitive guess –medicine.  And one girl said a potato.

We eliminated the ones that didn’t match all the clues or fit in the box, and narrowed it down to medicine and a potato.  After much discussion we decided the more likely guess was a potato.

The kids begged to see what was in the box as I slowly lifted the lid, then teasingly shut it quickly again, as if what was in it would jump out. After a few more tries I put my hand in and pulled out……a potato!!!

They were thrilled! I explained next week would be “potato week” and we were going to discover all the reasons for the clues. Answer more questions about the potato, and do some activities with potatoes such as; painting, planting, observing and making FRENCH FRIES!

Fun times in first grade the week before spring break!


3 responses to this post.

  1. Fantastic idea. I love how your clues are part of your learning process in the following week. A great way to kids to think carefully, matching clues with their answers.
    Writing this idea down in my notebook.


  2. Posted by the other ruth on March 5, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    As a fellow first grade teacher, I may steal the mystery box idea! 🙂 My kids love that kind of thing too, and we are big researchers in our room. I also wanted to tell you that your blog title and the picture you used are fantastic!
    You really have a lovely writing style–so relaxed, and you know how to unfold the narrative of your classroom. Can’t wait to read more!


    • Steal away! I used to use a bag but the box adds a whole new element! I have to say it wasn’t my idea in the beginning (I steal too!!) The teacher that retired and left me her “room” started it years ago. Thank you so much for the compliments they mean so, so much.


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