Magic Box

This activity teaches students to accept offers and add sensory details to imaginary items.

Instructions:  The teacher begins by showing an imaginary box.  It adds to the excitement, if the teacher pretends to get the box from a specific area in the class as if it has been there all along.  The teacher explains that this is a magic box and that it can contain anything and demonstrates that by carefully opening the lid of the magic box and removing anything (e.g. a car, a friend, a television, knowledge).  The teacher needs to show how big the magic item is using gestures, reaction, and posture. Then the magic box is passed to the next person who continues the exercise.

Extension:  Add a sentence frame.  Using sentence frames can help beginning writers and/or students learning English to speak more quickly and acquire specific language skills.

An example of a sentence frame for this activity might be:

This is a _______.  The student fills in the blank with the appropriate word that matches what he/she has turned the item into. Then they give it to the next student and say, “Here is a _______. I hope you like it.” The student receiving can respond, “Thank you for the ______.”

For more advances students, include a sentence frame that involves some sort of description of the item.

Variation:  Use this similar to group juggle where the items are passed from person to person. You may find item are combined (e.g. Fish tank full of a pitcher of water with a fish in it).  Great activity for thinking “outside the box” and provide permission for participants to be silly.



For more resources see:  Reading and Writing Come Alive: Using Improvisation to Build Literacy Copyright © 2010 by Lisa Safran at

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