Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Who's Left Holding the Bag?

Mary Mueller


This activity is a fun way for students to practice language skills while asking and responding to questions in a game form. This gives students who may not often participate in a group activity an opportunity to get involved.


The student asks and responds to questions.


-A small drawstring bag
-15 laminated picture object cards
-15 Question cards: Who, What, Where, When, How
-Data Collection Sheet (see Attached File)


1. Gather materials for activity. (see Materials List)
2. Plan where you will work with the students.
3. Make a data collection sheet available. (see Attached File)


Note: This lesson instructs and assesses students' comprehension and reinforces language skills.

1. Ask a small group of students you are targeting to sit in a circle.

2. Instruct the students that one student will draw a “picture card” and secretly place that picture inside the “secret bag” after observing the picture.

3. Demonstrate by picking a card, hiding the card from the participants, observing the card, thinking about “its” attributes, and then putting the card inside the bag. Think out loud while demonstrating this procedure. (Example: What would I do with this object? What color is it? How many legs does it have? Who might own this? Where would I find this? When would I have this? When would I use this? Where would I use this?)

4. The remaining students are instructed to take turns from the “drawing pile”, asking the question on that particular card and evaluating their peer’s responses.

5. Questions may need to be repeated.

6. When students feel that they have enough information given to them, they may take a guess as to what object is on the card on their turn. If the student’s guess is incorrect, the students continue asking questions from the “question card” pile until a student correctly identifies the hidden card. If the card is guessed correctly, the student holding the bag retreats the card from inside the bag and shows the participants what the “secret picture card” was.

7. The student who correctly guesses the object on the card resumes by becoming the “secret bag” holder.


During all activities, formative assessment and feedback are important. Corrective feedback not only corrects mistakes, but also encourages students to keep trying while you guide them toward the correct answer. Affirmative feedback not only praises the student, but also restates the answer reinforcing the skill and assisting in transfer to the child’s long-term memory.

The assessment of orally answering “who, what, where, when, how” questions can begin anytime the teacher feels a student is ready to answer. This would be an individual assessment. Some students may need more practice. Assessment may be on going during other lessons presented during comprehension assessment.

An example of a data collection sheet suitable for keeping record of attempts, results, and notes the responses of students provides feedback for students and you.

Attached Files

File Attachment.     File Extension: pdf

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