Elizabeth Mulvahill

One thing’s for sure when you’re a teacher: every day is an adventure! Recently we asked our teacher community to share the most unusual show-and-tell items they’ve seen over the years, and boy, did they deliver! From critters and creepy crawlies to things we’re pretty sure parents wish would have stayed home, here’s what they had to say.

This is not a drill …

“A rotten egg! Well, it was an egg he found and he wanted to share it with the class because we’d been talking about life cycles. He mentioned it to me and I said ‘wonderful.’ I got distracted, so he kept it in his desk. A few hours later it fell out and cracked! The smell was so strong we had to evacuate the classroom and I had to teach the rest of the day outside. It’s a funny story to tell … now.” —Veronica C. 

Oh, that’s embarrassing …

“My daughter and I went on an autumn walk collecting chestnuts, leaves, etc. We put them in a bag ready for show-and-tell. In the Monday morning rush we accidentally picked the bag I had used to throw away the remains of breakfast. Poor thing was mortified when the teacher reached in the bag and pulled out a half-eaten piece of toast and a used tea bag. The teachers thought it was hilarious!” —Keeley S. 

It’s like wild kingdom up in here!

“A container full of caterpillars. When show-and-tell time came around, all but one caterpillar had escaped the container! The whole class went on a caterpillar hunt but we were finding them for days!” —Rachel E. 

“A heap of tiny toads! When he opened the jar, we had 20 of them all over the mat. Thank goodness we caught them all again.” —Danielle S. 

“My kindergartner brought an old butter tub. She said her grandma said she could bring it in. I was shocked to find a BABY MOLE inside when I opened the lid!” —Carrie K. 

“I once had a student whose mom was an exotic-animal rescuer. She brought in a baby kangaroo!” —Lori H. 

Well, I guess it could count as biology class extra credit …

“We did a ‘personal timeline’ where students needed to attach photos of personal items on a timeline to tell their story. One student did a poster and literally attached their umbilical cord and the pregnancy test!” —Beau B. 

“A prosthetic eye. He took it out and showed the whole class.” —Jamie T. 

“A deer heart. No kidding! We were talking about the circulatory system. It was so cool, but …” —Diane L. 

“I had a 6th grader with a prosthetic arm. She took it off to show our science class one day! It was actually great—her classmates asked great questions and were very supportive!” Nancy V.

“About eight years ago one of my 2nd graders brought in Grandma’s gallstones.” —Elisa F. 

Awww, that’s sweet …

“For 100s Day, one student brought his 99-year-old great grandma and 1-year-old brother. So cute!”—Denise G. 

These kids really got into the “spirit” of things …

“Not my student, but a student at my school brought a ‘special water bottle.’ It was a flask.” —Erika R. 

“A bottle of Patron with a lollipop and glitter in it. She’d made a ‘potion.’” —Lauren C. 

“A meat thermometer. He called it his ‘magic pen.’” —Brittany L. 

Yeah, let’s stay out of mom and dad’s room …

“A long, curved, cylindrical, phallic-shaped (you know where I’m going with this) object made out of glass. He found it in his mom’s room and it was now part of his ‘crystal collection.’ The children ooohed and ahhhed. I died inside.” —Leigh W.

“Mom’s negligee for a costume. See-through, of course.” —PJ C. 

“One girl brought in a garter and was wearing it as a choker necklace.” —Lauren L. 

“His dad’s tiger-striped underwear for the letter ‘U’ day.” —Nancy A.

“A condom … a glow-in-the-dark one. He thought it was a balloon. So thankful it hadn’t been used!”—Mandy T. 

Oof. This should NOT happen …

“A small piece of pipe, which he found in the woods, that he was using as a gas tank for his remote-control car. It had the very distinct odor of pot.” —Cheryl Q. 

“It wasn’t exactly what he brought but what another student thought it was. It was back in the ‘letter of the week’ time in kindergarten and a kid brought celery salt in a baggie. One kid says, ‘I know what that is! My mom smokes it!’ When I called mom to talk about it, she blamed dad.” —Christy K. 

One unforgettable show-and-tell …

“I went to elementary school with the son of Dallas Cowboy Jethro Pugh, and he brought his dad and Harvey Martin (both GIANT defensive linemen to a 3rd grader) for show-and-tell one day. BEST DAY EVER!” —Todd G. 

What’s the most shocking or hilarious show-and-tell item you’ve seen in your classroom? Come share with the WeAreTeachers Helpline group on Facebook.

Also, check out Teachers Share the Wildest Things That Only Happen in Their State.





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