July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Guess Who Envelopes - B2S Activity

Hi y'all! I am going to participate in my first ever Throwback Thursday party! I know... I know... I am like WAY behind the times.  But, better late than never, right?  I have to say...I love this idea.  I have discovered so many great posts that I missed through this linky.   Thank you First Grade Parade! So, I hope my first post repost doesn't disappoint.

I choose Guess Who Portrait Envelopes for my first throwback because it's a great back to school activity.  I saved mine all year last year.  I finally brought them out on the last 2 days of school and the kids LOVED it.  Enough time had past that they actually had to think about the clues inside to guess the person.  It was so much fun! It's a keeper!!  :)


Originally posted September 9, 2012
Introducing... Guess Who Portrait Envelopes.

Portrait Envelopes are very simple.

Materials Needed: white business envelopes, crayons or colored pencils, some type of get to know you survey

Step 1: Explain that everything is a secret. Shhh! Students should not share their portrait envelopes or answers to their survey with anyone because we are going to use the portrait and the clues about the person to try to guess their identify later in the year. 

Step 2: Students will draw a portrait of themselves on the envelope. Make sure they fill the whole envelope with color. No names anywhere.

Step 3: Students will fill out some kind of B2S Get to Know You survey. I usually choose one that only has no more than 8 questions.  Keep it simple. No name on the survey.

Step 4: Teach students how to fold the 8.5 x 11 piece of paper into an envelope properly. (This is apparently a lost art.)

Step 5: Have students seal the envelopes with the interest survey inside and then... hide them.  Stuff them in a file cabinet.  Wedge them between some books on your shelf. Drop them into the black hole that is your desk.  Put them where ever you want, just hide them.  Out of sight, out of mind.

Step 6: Many months down the road or towards the end of the year rediscover them. Pull them out and "ooohhh" and "aahhh" over them to the class.  Then when you have a few spare moments throughout the next couple of days go through the envelopes.  Show off the portrait and see if the class can guess who it is.  Next, open up and read the clues from the inventory.  After having all year together, the kids are sure to figure out the mystery person and have great fun doing it!

And, that's it. Simple.  The kids love it.  It is a great first week activity, but you can also do it anytime during the first nine weeks.  The time put in during the fall is worth it when you start opening envelopes in the spring.

If you try it out, I'd love to know how it goes.  Enjoy!!


  1. I am so doing this!!! I'm glad you decided to repost it.

    Hooty's Homeroom

  2. What a great idea! I'm going to try to fit that into the first few days of school.

    Math is Elementary

  3. I really like this idea!! I'm definitely going to put this into my bag of tricks for the first week back!! Thanks for sharing!



Thank you for taking a moment to share your thoughts!