Mystery Box

The Mystery Box helps students to engage their sense of touch. It’s engaging and helps to encourage students to think and follow more and more complex instructions.  
For example, place different items in the box that you have taught your students including a cup, a bear, a piece of moose hide. A teacher could simply say, "Give me the bear." When they have learned the word for "and" then say, "Give me the bear and the moose hide." A teacher could also say, "Give me the bear and the moose hide, but not the cup." Alternate the directions for each child’s turn.
Other ideas include:
  • Have students take a turn at being the one who asks and the one who decides what goes in the box. Let them surprise you!
  • Use the mystery box in a circle time with all students or with a centre time where two children interact with each other.
  • Each time place different items in the box. Collect items and keep them in a ziplock so that you have the themed items ready when you need them (such as all the items for a sewing unit or dishes).
  • Use the box prompt students to describe the physical properties and the uses of various common items. For example,"find something soft." OR "Find something made of seal skin." OR "Find the small ball." OR "Find the big plate.
  • Collect items from the natural environment prior to going outside such as feathers, rocks, spruce cones, grass. Use the box to help the students learn the vocabulary and then have a scavenger hunt where you ask them to find those things in their surroundings.
  • Use multiples of the same items so you can ask, "Give me three rocks and one feather and two cones." This helps students to use their numbers in context.
My Favourite Activity
Using the Mystery Box

Higher Level Activity

Contact Us

Mindy Willett

Social Studies and Northern Studies Coordinator

Early Childhood & School Services

Phone: (867) 767-9342 Ext. 71297

Email: mindy_willett@gov.nt.ca

Judy Whitford

Indigenous Languages and Culture Coordinator

Indigenous Languages and Education Secretariat

Phone: (867) 767-9346 Ext. 71038

Email: judy_whitford@gov.nt.ca