Guess My Solid

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Students will be able to describe familiar items and with prompting and support provide additional details.

Big Idea

Descriptive details are used as students develop a guessing game poster for others to try and guess their chosen solid.


15 minutes

Gather students on the rug using a preferred classroom management technique. I like to use my “Stop, look, listen.” The students stop what they are doing, look at me and listen for the direction. I usually preface the direction with, “When I say go…” This reminds the students to listen to the whole direction before moving to follow the directive.

In this case I would say, “When I say go I would like you to clear your space, push in your chair and go take a spot on your dot. Walking feet go.” By saying walking feet I am reminding the students to use walking feet in the classroom to ensure safe movement between areas.

When all of the students are seated on their dot in the rug area I will use the fair sticks to select a student to come up to the front of the rug with me. I will have a container of a variety Duplo blocks. I will have two Duplo blocks in my pocket that I put there before the students came to the rug.

“Kallee I need you to listen carefully to my description because it is going to be your job to pick out the exact same Duplo block to match the one I have hidden in my pocket. Are you ready? Good, here we go.”

“Kallee I have a Duplo block in my pocket.”

Kallee looked at me waiting for more details.

“That’s it. That is all I am going to tell you. Pick a block.”

When she picks out a block, I will make sure the one I pull out of my pocket DOES NOT match the one she has.

“Is it a match?”

The audience and Kallee say, “No.”

“You are right; it is not a match. What could I have done to help Kallee make a better choice to get a match?”

I will select students who are following the proper protocol of raising their hand to respond to the question.

 “You are right Jonathan; I should have given her more hints. I should have given Kallee more details to help her make a better choice. Let’s try again and this time I will use adjectives (this is where I lean over and whisper in a conspiring way to the group – “Those are describing words”) to help her.”     Why do I whisper?

“Kallee in my pocket I have a Duplo block that is square. It has four round connectors on top. It has one circle on the bottom of it and it is red.”

This time I gave enough descriptive details for Kallee to select a Duplo block exactly the same as the one in my pocket.

When she has made her selection I will pull out my block and hold it up next to hers.

“Is this a match?”

“Kallee what made it easier for you to choose this time?”

Kallee tells me, “You used more hints and I was able to pick out a block that matched the one you have.”

“Thank you Kallee for helping me out. Boys and girls did you see when I used more adjectives (this is where I lean over and whisper in a conspiring way to the group – “Those are describing words”) it gave Kallee a clearer picture in her head of what I wanted her to think.”

“Today we are going to read a book about solids. I want you to listen very closely so you can hear the details the author gives to help us determine what makes a solid.”

The Importance of Adjectives.


40 minutes

“The book for today is called What is a Solid? by Jennifer Boothroyd. Looking at the cover of the book do you think this book will be fiction or non-fiction?”

I will select a student who is following the proper protocol of raising their hand to respond to the question.

“Yes Rachel you are right it is a non-fiction. Why would I read a non-fiction book?”

I will select a student who is following the proper protocol of raising their hand to respond to the question.

“Well done Finnley. I read non-fiction books for information. Here we go.”


During reading we will discuss new vocabulary words as they come in the text. We will try to decode them using the labels, the picture clues, in context and sounding out. We will not do this with every new word as there are too many and it would take too long. I would end up losing my audiences interest and have behavior issues.

I make a point of showing the students how the author uses adjectives to describe the features of a solid.

“I notice the author tells us a solid can be hard like a tree, or soft like a stuffed toy. Hard and soft are both adjectives that describe what the solid is like. Can anyone else tell me something about hard and soft?”

I select a student to respond.

“Yes, April they are opposites. Let’s continue reading to find out more information about solids.”


After reading the book I ask the students to recall some details from the book.

“What details make an object a solid?”

“Great detail Owen; the object must hold its shape.”

“Yes Finnley; we can change its shape like the boy who cut the paper, but it is still a solid.”

“Can anyone tell me a solid they see right here in this classroom?”

I will select students who are following the proper protocol of raising their hand to respond to the question.

After listening to three or four responses I say (I do not want to take too long listening to all of the responses because I do not want to spend too long sitting on the rug and lose my audience attention),

“Those were all great responses. Today at one of the stations you are going to select a solid and make a poster for others to try and guess what your solid is; just like the game I played with Kallee before we read our book.      You will have the opportunity to use describing words (this is where I lean over and whisper in a conspiring way to the group – “Those are adjectives”) to help provide clues to the reader. You want to try and help the reader get a clear picture in his or her mind so they can successfully guess the solid you picked. Remember the idea is for the reader to be successful.”     "Guess My Solid" master

I hold my example. “Let me read you the clues of the solid I picked.”

“It has a round ball shape with green, yellow, pink, white, and blue colors on it.”

“It has black words and a thin red line on it.”

“It has a grey hard metal stand which helps me spin it both fast and slow.”

“Raise your hand if you can guess my solid.”

“Wow, I see lots of hands raised. I am going to use the fair sticks to help me pick someone to tell me my solid. If you feel like the answer is going to pop out before I choose, put your hand over your mouth to help keep it in.” Saying this helps my over enthusiastic students who will occasionally call out keep their mouths shut.

I use the fair sticks to select a student to respond to the descriptive clues.

Fair Sticks explanation

“Bryan I pulled your name out. Do you think you know what my solid is?”

“Well done Bryan; it is the globe. How did you guess the globe?”

Bryan said, “I looked around the room for a round shape with colors and words on it that spins and I saw the globe in book area. It had all the things you said.”

“Great. At the writing station you will select a solid. Once you have your solid you will then write your three clues down providing as many details as you can. If you need help Mrs. K will be there to help you with the words.”

“Does anyone have any questions?”


Once I feel the group has a good grasp of the instructions I send the students over one table group at a time to maintain a safe and orderly classroom. It usually sounds like this;

“Table number one let’s go have some Flubber fun.

Table number two, you know what to do.

Table number three, hope you were listening to me, and

Table number four, you shouldn’t be here anymore.”

Integrated work station set up.

Work stations set up.     Work station one.      Work station two.     Work station three.     Work station four.


Allow the students 15 minutes to work on this activity. Set a visual timer and remind the students to look at the timer so they will use their time wisely. 

Developing "Guess My Solid" posters.     Student working on poster 1     Student working on poster 2

Playing the guessing game with the students both before and after the book helps the students begin to understand how adjectives are a very important part of language. The use of adjectives makes it possible for people to have a clear picture in their mind of what you are describing to them - the better your adjectives the clearer the picture. Listening to the book during shared reading gave students a glimpse in the way authors explain information to readers so that the reader understands the information being shared. During the activity the students have a chance to practice this skill for themselves.   


10 minutes

When the time is up I blow two short blasts on my whistle and use the “Stop, look listen” technique mentioned above.

“When I say go, I would like you to clean up your space remembering to take care of our things, push in your chair, and use walking feet to go and take a spot on your dot.”

Students know to put completed work in the finished work bin. Any work that is not completed goes into the under construction bin and can be completed throughout the day whenever the student finds he/she has spare time or it will be completed during free choice center time.

Front of book poster.     Back of book poster.     Front of Zoob poster.     Back of Zoob poster.     Front of pencil poster.      Back of pencil poster. 

Once all of the students are seated on the rug I tell them their exit ticket for today is to come up with a solid.

“Boys and girls your exit slip today is to tell me an adjective you can use and give me an example of the word being used in the sentence. For example, “Big - Mrs. Clapp has big blue eyes.” I will give you twenty seconds to think of your adjective and the sentence you will use it in.”

When the time is up I use the fair sticks to select the order in which the students respond to the request.

After a student has told me his/her adjective and successfully used it in a sentence, they are able to use the hand sanitizer and go to get their snack. If a student is unable to give me an answer, they know they can do one of two things.

  1. They can ask a friend to help, or
  2. They can wait until everyone else has gone and then we will work together on coming up with an adjective and an appropriate sentence. 


5 minutes

I will use the checklist to go over the students work to make sure they met the objectives set for the assignment. Once I have completed the checklist, I attach it to the students work and place it in their collection portfolio. 


Students will make Flubber at the science station and have to use descriptive words to express what the substance feels, looks and smells like. Based on what they know the students in that group will try to determine if it is a solid or a liquid. 

Recipe students had to follow.     Students exploring Flubber


At one of the other stations the students will be playing the game “Guess What I Am?” The students will reach into a bag containing one item. Based on what they feel they will need to describe the item to the rest of the group and decide what it is. The next student reaches into the bag and repeats the process. Once everyone has reached into the bag and had a turn at describing what they felt, the volunteer at that station pulls the item out to verify or disprove the students’ “guess.”


At the math station, “Shape Attributes,” the students will make shapes using rubber bands and Geoboards. They will describe the attributes of their assigned shape to the volunteer at their table. 

Creating shapes on the Geoboards.