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  • Writer's pictureElena

Engaging students with mystery objects

Young learners enjoy exploring the world through imaginative guessing games. This blog post outlines some examples of working with mystery objects across different levels, from pre-primary to early secondary. Each stage presents unique opportunities to enhance vocabulary, descriptive skills, critical thinking, and curiosity.


Take some objects which children know the name of in English. Place these objects in a bag. Then, invite a child to put their hand in the bag and guess the object by feeling it. Try to choose objects that feel different to the touch.

As learners become more familiar with the vocabulary to describe the texture of objects, you can hide the objects around the classroom and ask volunteers to find something specific, like something that is soft and round.

If you would like to provide learners with some visual support, you can give them a list of words with pictures. Ask them to find something specific, such as something that is soft and round, and then cross it off the list.


As primary school learners are capable of producing longer sentences, you can prepare a bag with various objects of different textures and ask a volunteer to describe the texture of the object they feel. The rest of the class can try to guess the object based on the description provided.


The activity involves choosing an object from a virtual collection*, projecting it, and inviting the learners to ask questions about it to guess what it is. When encouraging them to guess it, you could use the following questions: 

- Do you have anything similar to this object at home?

- How does it make you feel?

- What do you think it was used for?

If the object is taken from a virtual collection, then you could work with the written description. As a follow-up, learners could explore what they can find out about the object online.

*I learned this idea from Catherine Stevenson. She also shared a helpful guide for selecting virtual collections.

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