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Mystery Box

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Language Focus Other songs about: classroom management

"What's inside?" "Mystery box."

Mystery Box Lyrics and Actions

♫ Mystery box, mystery box. What's inside the mystery box? [Hold up the mystery box and look at it questioningly, showing that you are wondering what is inside.]
Mystery box, mystery box. What's inside the mystery box?

Mystery box, mystery box. What's inside the mystery box?
Mystery box, mystery box. What's inside the mystery box? ♫

Preparation

Find a box that you can decorate and keep in your home or classroom. You can wrap the box with gold or silver paper, draw question marks on it, glue on sparkles and ribbons...anything to make the box look special and exciting. If you can find something that looks like a treasure chest, that's even better!

Before class, find several objects related to the language topic that you are working on. For example, if you are learning about different types of food, place some plastic fruit and other fake food inside the mystery box.

During circle time, play the "Mystery Box" song to let children know it's time to check the mystery box. (When the children are familiar with the activity, you can have them bring you the box whenever they hear the song). The teacher or parent can ask the children, "Do you want to know what's inside?" Encourage the children's curiosity by having them ask, "What's inside?" or "What's inside the mystery box?"

Look inside the box and give the children some clues about one of the items. For example, if it's plastic banana, tell the children, "Ooooh, it's a piece of fruit! It's yellow! It's yummy! Monkeys like to eat it. It's long!" Reveal clues one by one, encouraging the kids the guess what the item is. If the kids still haven't guessed, slowly take the item out of the box, revealing it little by little. After you have taken the item out of the box, pass it around the room, each child naming the object as they hold it. Then, move on to the next item.

Classroom Benefits

A mystery box really grabs students attention and is a great way to introduce or review vocabulary with young children. It's an activity that you can use over and over again, and it is engaging every time.

Activity Ideas

After hearing the song a few times, you will no longer need to do the gestures...it will simply become an easy way to signal that it's time for the mystery box. 1

You can make different kinds of mystery boxes, too. For example, make a box with hole in it so that children can reach into the box, feel an item, and try to guess what it is by touch. 2

Make a mystery envelope for flashcards by decorating a large mailing envelope. When you pull cards out, reveal them slowly so that children have to guess what the picture is. 3

For higher level classes and older kids, have the students take turns revealing the items in the mystery box. Instead of the teacher, a student looks in the box and gives the class clues about one of the items. For older kids, you can make teams and reward the first team to name the object with a point. 4

Have the kids each bring in an object from home and make three clues for the item. The other students have to guess what their item is. 5

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