Activity Plan 2-3: A Bagful of Surprises
- Grades: PreK–K
- shopping bag
- household objects, such as a rubber glove, a bar of soap, and a dish towel
- familiar classroom objects, such as a pencil, a pair of scissors, and a book
Goal: Younger children will practice language skills and increase their vocabularies through this expressive-language experience.
In Advance: Decorate the shopping bag to make it special. Then collect the objects you will put into your Surprise Bag. Plan on sharing one object with your group each day. Choose a time that fits easily into your routine.
1. Place one household object, such as a dish towel, into the surprise bag and gather your children together.
2. With an air of drama, look into the bag and then look at the children and say, "I have a surprise in this bag. I'll pull it out and you can tell me what it is."
3. Pull the object out of the bag slowly and ask, "Can anyone tell me what this is? Can anyone tell me what it's used for?" Encourage children to talk about, describe, and handle the object. Repeat this process over the next few days, introducing one new object at a time.
4. Once you've shared the household objects, begin sharing the classroom objects. Tell children that the object in the bag today is one they see often in your room. Give them one or two clues about the item to see if they can guess what it is. Then encourage them to describe it as they did before.
5. Ask children to suggest other items you could put in the bag. They'll have fun when "their" objects are pulled out.
Remember: Some children may need time to express their thoughts. Encourage them to think about what they want to say, and help them express themselves by asking open-ended questions.
This activity originally appeared in the December, 1997 issue of Early Childhood Today.