The school supply list is out! Are tissue boxes on your list? If so, check out one way to add a little learning to that item.

I taught at a school that said tissue boxes and other supplies cannot be for extra credit because students should not be buying their grades. Ok, that’s fair. But I did not want to be stuck with purchasing 100+ tissue boxes for the classroom either. So I came up with this idea. Throughout the year when the supplies were running low, I would put “decorate a tissue box with pictures, quotes and information about [insert unit theme].” This was one option on their homework choice board. I always had a few boxes I had purchased if someone needed one. I had a few examples to show them that they could focus on a person, place, product, etc. to get them started. This is where old People en Español magazines and other target language materials could get a second life too. Once I had a bunch of tissue boxes donated by a parent. For a sub day, I left “Decorate a tissue box” as the plan. I gave a short list of ideas, but ultimately left it up to them. Another time I assigned a country to each student as the inspiration. Sometimes after I read a magazine, I would pull out the articles/photos that I wanted on a box and I would ask a student that finished early if he/she wanted to decorate a box. In the end, we had tissues, the room had more decorations, and they learned more about the culture and language when they created them and when they used them! #winwin

Suggested materials to decorate the boxes:

TL magazines, travel brochures, TL newspapers, photos, printed information from Internet, glue or decoupage, markers

Musicians / Music Genres

These two are all about Celia Cruz using images from the promotion of the miniseries and a few about her country Cuba.

The following are some ideas, but I didn’t cut them out yet.

Clothing / Fashion / Designers / Brands

Dates / Months / Birthdays or Movies / TV Programs

Sports / Hobbies / Athletes / Sporting Events

Traditional Foods / Restaurants / Chefs / Brands / Recipes

Overall, the best part was that there was a touch of learning, every time a nose was blown. 🙂