Thursday, November 24, 2011

Magic box story game

I guess I could pretend that I put that box of trinkets in the picture yesterday as a teaser. Here it is again.

The box is for a game I use with kids from about age 6 and up. It's called "Magic Box," and I have two versions. 

Magic Box Full
In this game, I put a variety of little toys in the box and have kids draw one out so we can tell a story about it. If we get stuck, we pull another toy out to move the story along. 

Magic Box Empty
There's nothing inside but my imagination. I open the box slowly, toward myself, so I'm the only one who can see what's inside. "Oh! I can't believe it! There are two chickens playing football in here!" I might say. Then I pass the box to the person next to me and ask what they see. We pass the box around the room until everyone has had a chance to say something. 

I prefer Magic Box Empty. I find that kids often will follow the pattern I set. If there are animals playing a sport, they continue with that idea. Sometimes I prompt for other details: "Really? Who's watching the game?" It's even more fun when they come up with something unusual. Once I played this with a group of second graders. The game was going along fairly predictably until one little girl looked in the box and said, "There's a big old tooth in here!" 
In the spirit of improvisation, I accepted this. "Really? Whose is it?"
"Mine! I didn't even realize I'd lost a tooth!" 

At a workshop in at St. Francis College, Sao Paulo, 2008
Sometimes there will be a literal-minded kid who says, "There's nothing in here." I suggest quietly that they pretend there is something. This may or may not work. It's important to be respectful of the student, not to make this into a big embarrassing deal. I may say, "That's okay, maybe you'll see something in there another time," or "Darn, it got invisible again.

Any little box works. You could decorate a shoebox or use a small recipe box. I like the one I have because it's in the shape of a book. I got it in Brazil in a hobby shop. 


Granny Sue said...

What a great idea, Priscilla! I'm going to try this.

Emilie Andrade said...

Wonderful! I'll try it to! Thank you so much for sharing this!