My students loved show and tell time. I did also, I really enjoyed watching them come alive to tell about what they brought to the class.
What is Show and Tell?
Show and tell is where the students get to share something they bring to school from home. They show the class the object they brought and talk about what it is and why it is special to them. This activity helps kids build confidence in speaking in front of their peers. I usually planned show and tell time right after our lunch and recess period. It usually took about 15-20 minutes. There was only one student doing show and tell a day. I put my students’ first names in alphabetical order and that was the order I used to choose which student’s day it was for show and tell. I made a big list with their names that hung on one of the walls in the classroom. Students could look at this list to tell who’s turn it would be next or to see how many days until their turn.
Show and Tell Ideas for Kids
All About Me Project
On the first day of school, I assigned students their first homework: to complete an All About Me book. My students had a week to complete the book, and parents were encouraged to help. These books were used as their first show and tell item. I completed a book myself to share with the class as a way to model how to talk about themselves and share their book. I always thought this book was very important to start with because it was very structured (they just showed each page and told what was on it), and kids usually feel comfortable talking about themselves (something they know a lot about).
This book helped them learn to talk in front of the class. It also helped all of us to learn about each other.
The rest of the year we used the exciting Mystery Bag for show and tell. After the last sharing of the All About Me book, I introduced the Mystery Bag. The bag I used for this is a plain backpack that I decorated with fabric markers. I told students how the mystery bag works:
- The student takes the bag home the night before their show and tell day.
- They find something at home they want to show their peers. The item had to fit inside the mystery bag.
- They, with the help of their parents, come up with 3 clues about their show and tell item. (Parents wrote the clues on a paper and put it in the bag, so I could help remind the student of the clues in case they forgot.)
- Bring the bag, with the item tucked inside, back to school the next day.
- At show and tell time, the student tells the three clues about the item and the other students try to guess what it is. (I usually only allowed 3 students to guess.)
- Once someone guesses or if nobody guesses correctly, the student takes the item out of the bag to show and tell what it is and why it is special to them.
Mystery Bag Tips:
- Keep a copy of the mystery bag instructions in the bag in case parents needed a reminder of how the bag works. I also had a few extra copies so I could put a new one in the bag if it came back without instructions inside.
- Keep an extra bag just in case a student forgets it at home. I only had this happen once or twice in the years that I used the mystery bag. My students were so excited to get the bag and almost never forgot to bring it back.
Another great show and tell idea is having the students tell about a book they’ve recently read or a favorite book. When doing a book sharing show and tell, my students showed the cover of the book, said what the title was and then talked a little about the book: what it was about and why they liked it. I always started this later in the school year, after they’ve had a chance to get used to talking in front of their peers. This is a little harder than sharing about a favorite toy, but my students had a lot of fun. This is also a great introduction to book reports.
I hope you and your students enjoy these show and tell ideas for kindergarten! I would love to hear about show and tell in your class! Please tell me all about it in the comments below!
Looking for More?
Looking for ideas for virtual show and tell? Read this great article about how to set it up and fun ideas to share virtually.
We have many great kindergarten resources and articles on our website. Please take a look around! Start with our FREEBIES. And, if you are getting ready for a new school year, our Back to School Night article may be very helpful!