Stare Detective - Grade 1 Supplementary Activity

This Investigation and Inquiry activity will help foster students’ natural curiosity and promote development of critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and inquiry skills. The activity also underscores the detective motif in Xello K-2 and brings it into the classroom.

While we suggest First Grade as the recommended grade level for this activity, you can adapt it to suit the needs and interests of your class.

Purpose Materials
In this activity, students will memorize items on a tray. The purpose of this activity is to:
  • Help students develop observation and memorization skills
  • Help students to think quickly and critically about the purpose and characteristics about objects
To complete this activity, the following supplies are needed:
  • Tray
  • 10 to 20 small objects (e.g. coin, pencil, playing card, etc.)
  • Towel
  • Pencils and paper
In-App My Files
Students upload a photo of their memory list or drawing


  1. Remind students that detectives have to stay alert and keep a watchful eye on what’s going on. Out of students’ sight, place some items on a tray and cover them with a towel. Tell students that their mission is to memorize as many items on the tray as they can in 30 seconds.
  2. Uncover the tray and place it where students can see it (you can also have small groups of students take turns coming to your desk to observe the items).
  3. Students then have a minute to write down or draw as many items as they can remember.
  4. Have students compare their lists; the student who remembers the most items wins!
Tip: You can extend the game by changing the criteria of the objects that students must remember. For example, you can ask students to remember only the items that are round or used for certain tasks. You can also remove items from the tray and ask students to identify only the items that have been removed.

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