Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Mystery Bags

We finally made it through our class with the GTKY activity. All twenty children have had their turn being the 'Person of the Day'. {The GTKY activity was posted here.}

Now, onto Mystery Bags!

I sent home a small paper bag with each student, as well as a letter describing the Mystery Bag activity:
On their assigned day, students are to bring in the paper bag with a secret item inside. The item needs to begin with the same sound as the first letter of their name.
The rest of the class will try to guess what is inside of the Mystery Bag...
and in doing so, will be practicing letter sound skills :)

I always go first, to model how the activity is to be done.
Here is my Mystery Bag:
I use my last name for this activity, because, of course, teachers don't have a first name (besides "Mrs."), so it's not an issue here. 
The students will use their first names.

This is how the activity goes:

"My name is Mrs. Bremer. The first sound in the name Bremer is 'B'. Can you guess what's in my Mystery Bag?"

I even model how to choose students who want to make a guess. (In other words, if you are shouting out your answer, jumping up and down for attention, or trying to peek into the bag, you are not getting picked).

"I like how X is sitting. And she has her hand up! X, can you guess what is in my Mystery Bag?"

The guessing continues until someone actually does guess what is in the bag & I take it out and show them 
they run out of guesses and it's time for a hint. For example, "It is an animal."

Here is what is in my Mystery Bag:
It's a bird, and some bright kiddos may even realize it is a blue jay...both starting with B.
After a student has had a turn presenting his/her Mystery Bag, a sheet gets filled in:
The sheets are then put together to make a class book, which is put in the classroom library. They love reading this one!

One fun tricky part of the Mystery Bag activity is, of course, the student whose name begins with a vowel.
This is, however, the perfect springboard for introducing vowels: how they make more than one sound, and how they are the 'glue' in words.
An anchor chart like this hanging in the classroom makes a great visual reminder as well.
I found this idea at Turnstall's Teaching Tidbits. The glue bottles can be found here.

You can find the Mystery Bags pack {here}


Trish said...

Hi Anita!
I love your GTKY and this mystery bag activity. I cannot wait to finally get my own class in August and do both these activities. Thank you for the inspiration.

kind regards,
Trish @ http://miss-hoppy.blogspot.com/

I am your newest follower and will
be continuously "blog stalkin" you.:)

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