One of the skills that we work on in science is making observations. We started off our lesson by watching a Brainpop Jr. video on observations. Then, I told the students that I had a mystery item in my bag. They would have to make observations and try to figure out clues just by listening, looking, feeling the bag, etc. They were so excited! The element of mystery and surprise is always good for engagement.
The first day I put a few keys in the bag. I made up three bags the same way and passed them around to students on the carpet. The bags were stapled shut so they were not able to try to sneak a peek. They shook the bags, felt the bags, and looked at the bags. After I passed the bags around students went back to their seat and start writing their observations in their science journal. They also made a guess of what they thought it was. Afterwards we came back down to the carpet and discussed their guesses. Then I unveiled the hidden item! This worked so well I did it again the next day. This time I put clay in a bag. This item worked well too. Funny enough for how simple the actual lesson and prep was they ask to do this activity often!