A Boxful of Us

A show and tell activity, that supports a class to explore who they are.

KS2/3 | 15 Mins | Teacher led

Resources to download

KEY QUESTIONS: What object would I choose to tell a story about myself? What can all the objects tell us about who we are together?



This activity uses the idea of identity boxes or a boxful of curiosity. It extends this to allow learners to create a box that represents who they are as a group. It is particularly suited to younger learners and to the start of a unit of work on who are we?

It has also been successfully used at KS3 and 4 with a cross-phase group of secondary learners to develop identity and community between them.


1. Ask learners to choose something that they feel says something about who they are. It could be a photo, an object, a book, some food or anything else they want. The key is that it should be something they can bring in to school.

2. Agree a day when all learners will bring their item in to school and on the same day obtain a large box that will act as a bank for all of these items. This could be a display table instead of a box so that it is easier for others to see the items.

3. Learners take it in turns to show and tell something about their chosen item and then add it to the box. They might want to say why they chose it and what it means to them for example. Why do they think it represents them? You may like to do this activity over a number of days, perhaps giving 5 or 6 pupils a day the opportunity to add their items.

4. By the end of the activity the box will represent the individuals in the class/group, but will also say something about who they are as a group. Help them to discuss what the box says about who they are.

What things are similar?

What things are different?

What stories do the things tell us?

Are there one or two things that could represent everyone or is who we are more complicated than that?


Based on original material created by The Linking Network and Lifeworlds Learning