Do you ever feel like you're a performer instead of a teacher?
Do you have pompoms, silly hats, and an endless supply costumes in your classroom closet?
Do you sing or dance in front of your students, JUST to get their attention?
I know I do, because I'll do anything for those kids!

As teachers, we do all we can to help our students remember what we teach them.
We have a passion for teaching... which makes us do crazy things!

For this reason alone, being a teacher can truly be exhausting.
I've already had my after school nap today... have you?

Anyways, I bring all this up because I have found a great and easy way to get your students' attention.
I call it the Surprise Box and believe me, your students will LOVE it!

All you have to do, is put something inside to introduce a new topic (anything really) and display it in your classroom. When your students walk in, it will get them buzzing! They will be dying to know what the present is and they will beg you to tell them, but you won't. You will make them go throughout their day wondering and thinking about what could be in the box. If you're like me, then you might even make them earn it with good behavior! Then, when the time is right, you open the box and reveal what is inside. They won't forget about it and it will be the perfect way to introduce a new concept/idea. 

Next week I plan on using the box everyday to introduce a writing topic. When they write, I want them to focus on character development.  For example, on Monday I will put a witch costume in the box and they will have to write a story about a witch while developing her character and giving details, on Tuesday I will put a clown costume in the box and they will have to write a story about a clown, etc.  Since I used this box with my class last year, I know they are going to love this!  As soon as they see the gift box, they'll know that Mrs. Lindsey has something fun planned for them!

To make your own Surprise Box, all you need is a
sturdy gift box with a removable lid (so you can use it over and over again). 
Then go crazy with the wrapping and toppers.  Make sure to secure everything extra good.
I think this activity could work for all grade levels, because everyone loves surprises!

How do you get your students interested in learning?


  1. I LOVE this! We get packages and mail all year long from different people or animals. We have a Letter Snatcher who sneaks in our classroom and leaves us "mail" and he often leaves packages and riddles about things we might be studying.

    You can check out the Letter Snatcher on my blog. Your kiddos would LOVE him too!

  2. This is such a great idea!!!!! Thank you for sharing!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  3. @heather: what a fun idea! i'll have to try that with my kiddos! :)

  4. Thanks for sharing this super fun idea!! I have been working hard this year to put the fun back in learning (since the lovely state assessments seem to suck it all out). My peeps will love this!! Now to find a box....

    4th Grade Frolics

  5. Super cute idea!

    I do something similar with a mailbox. The kids know when the flag is up, there is something exciting inside. Inside could be an exciting activity we will be doing that day or a prize from Zero the Hero.

    Love the present idea, though.

    First Grade School Box

  6. So cute - I would love to have this also during those moments where you think you've lost them. It would be nice to know it's there waiting in the wings! Can't tell you how many times I've been looking out at glassy eyes or wiggle worms and open up my closet door looking for a hat, a wig, anything to get them back. This would work perfectly. I was thinking of maybe wrapping it with fabric to make it a little more durable?

    LOVE it and THANKS!!!!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  7. What an excellent idea. I think I need to try that one with my Grade 2's.

  8. I swear we should all minor in theater! I love the idea! My husband receives packages for his job almost every day. I will grab some boxes and wrap a few up. Thanks for sharing!


thanks for the love ♥

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