Tuning In Strategy - Mystery Picture!

I'm linking up with Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching today for her weekly Spark Student Motivation Saturday. I'll be sharing how I use a "Mystery Picture" as a way to pique students' curiosity!

Basically, you find an image that you want to use to spark conversation with your students. Generally, it would be something related to a unit of study. We have begun a unit in health and well-being, so you'll see what I chose soon! The image could be in the form of a poster, big book cover, over-sized photo- something pretty big. I had an image urn into a large poster at the copy store.
Once you've chosen it, you'll need to cover it with square pieces of construction paper. Make sure the adhesive you use is easily removable! Here is a look at how mine started out...
It won't be long before your students notice it on the wall, 
"Hey! What's that?"
"Oh, that? It's the mystery picture. You're going to need to guess what it is."
Let the fun begin!
You decide how many squares and how often you remove them before asking students to guess what the image is. I think 1 week is the perfect amount of time to let the curiosity simmer. I removed about 4 squares a day. I let students know that I would select kids who were on-task and following directions through out the day to be the one to pick which square would be removed at a given time- of course, they took the bait and were on their best behavior so that they'd be chosen!!
Keep removing cards each day and ask students to infer what the image could be. You could give them some clues, but not too many! Discuss their inferences each time you remove squares, and even allow them to write their predictions on post-it to check later on.
Can you guess the mystery picture now? We spent some time finding out about the food groups (and My Plate) this week, so I chose to share the food pyramid next. 
Next week we'll investigate how we can make healthy eating choices, as well as incorporating exercise into our daily lives.
My kids LOVED the mystery picture- each day they thought about what it could be; it really pulled them in and left them wanting to know more!
If you are looking for more ideas to spark student motivations, head on over to Joanne's blog!

Thanks for stopping by!!

1 comment

  1. This is a great idea! I love creating mystery. :) Thanks for sharing (new follower).


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