Teachers Share The Most Interesting Thing A Student Has Brought In For Show And Tell

Show-and-tell is a great way to get kids comfortable with speaking in front of people and sharing things about themselves. It also gives them a chance to be imaginative and get excited about something special they have.

It can get pretty interesting, especially since children have no censor or proper sense of what is appropriate. Some kids take it upon themselves, without telling their parents, to grab something from the house and show their class. To them, it doesn’t matter if it is dangerous or inappropriate—they just see it as something cool to share.

Here, teachers and classmates alike share a number of these crazy items kids have brought in. It seems these show-and-tell sessions have left lasting memories for everyone involved.

Don’t forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!

#1 Smoke Bomb Threat

We had a kid bring in a military-grade smoke bomb of some sort into my high school once for some class project.

He thought it was a dud.

All I remember is a whole lot of red smoke and everyone going home early.


#2 Kids Do The Darndest Things

I teach online school to second graders. One day, during a live chat, a little girl brought her dog swaddled in blankets. When it the time came for her to share, she held the dog up to the camera and said, “This is Sparkles. She is two months old and she died right before the chat started.”

My student brought her dead dog to chat. There were 11 other kids in the chatroom that all saw this.


#3 No Thank You For Sharing

One of my professors told me that when he was in first grade, a kid in his class got his toe cut off in a lawnmower accident. The kid then brought in his toe in a jar for show-and-tell.


#4 Museum Material

I had one little guy bring in rocks and fossils to my class. Now, I love that stuff, too, so I’d bring in pieces from my collection as well. It started with bits of obsidian, amethyst chunks, local mollusks in shale, and it went back and forth for several weeks. We even traded a few pieces (I’m friends with his parents, and they were cool with it).

Then I brought in a big, complete fish fossil from a local river, complete with sparkling scales. He thought that was cool.

Later on, he brought in a complete fossilized beehive. I was gobsmacked. I didn’t even know this was possible.

His parents and I contacted the local museum, and that fossil is now on public display. It is the finest of its kind found in British Columbia, and the kid dug it up on his grandparent’s farm.

#5 What’s In The Box?

By far the most interesting thing I ever received was a mummified foot that a student’s father had found in the desert. It showed up on my desk completely unannounced and unmarked. I can’t even begin to tell you how jarring it is to open a cardboard box to find a human foot inside.


#6 Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

My youngest sister is adopted from China. We have a cousin (white like the rest of us) who’s a model and at this point, she was already in a lot of magazines like Cosmo, Vogue, etc. My sister brought in magazines to show-and-tell. All the mean little third grade girls made fun of her, saying that the girl in the magazines wasn’t her cousin because of the race thing. The next time it was my sister’s turn, she brought in our cousin in the flesh with a bigger stack of magazines. Checkmate, ladies.


#7 Fish Are Pets Too

We had a pet day at school and most people just brought their cats and dogs. At lunch, we did a big show where people with pets walked around in a large circle. I remember hysterically laughing because this one girl brought her pet fish and was trying to walk with it. We were probably about 6 or 7 at the time, so she was really struggling with the thing and trying to walk without sloshing the water. Props to her though; she loved her fish.


#8 Strange Family Heirlooms

One kid brought in a trekking stick made out of a HUMAN FEMUR. Legit. Despite the legality of using human remains and some serious side eye from me all year during conferences, the story of how he acquired it was quite interesting. Apparently, it was a family heirloom. The kid’s great-great-grand-someone dug it up from his backyard in rural Virginia back in the early 1800s and named it, no joke, “Lemuel”.


#9 War Prizes

I remember a student brought in a sword, which he claimed his grandfather took off of a Japanese airplane that he shot down during the war. I don’t think his parents knew he took it.


#10 The Psychological Tests Of A 1st Grader

I had a kid in the first grade bring in his sock. He said it was smelly and that he used it for training to cope with bad smells. Seventeen five-year-olds rolled on the floor in hysterics. Best show-and-tell ever.


#11 At Least He Didn’t Bring In The Real Thing

I taught at a rural Canadian school last year. A kid in Grade 6 brought in pictures of a hunt he went on with his old man. One picture was of this little 4-foot boy holding a severed deer head. “Check this out,” was what he said to his friends as soon as he arrived that morning.


#12 Evil In Physical Form

I wasn’t the teacher in this case, but a guy brought in a slave collar from before the Civil War. (This was a history class, and we were discussing the early 1800s.)

We had all learned about slavery, of course, but seeing a thick iron collar and chain that was meant to be placed around the neck of a human being so they could be sold as property…

To this day, it’s the only thing I’ve ever seen that just felt evil.


#13 Imagination Station

I’m not a teacher, but my mom is and she has wonderful stories.

One of my favorites is this kid who forgot to bring something to show and tell. Instead of panicking, he just pretended to hold something about a foot big in his hands and presented his ‘Invisible Car.’ He described the structure of the car, where he got it, and how he liked to play with it. He even took extra care to ‘carry’ it back and put it carefully on his desk, moving it a bit to the side so he could access his coloring sheet.

Just to have fun, my mom asked him about it a few days later and he goes, “Oh that? Yeah, I got bored with it so I gave it away.”

What a neat way to wrap up his story! Kids are crazy creative!


#14 Nine-Year-Old Brains Are Funny Things

My dad found these illegal bottles from the Canadian Pacific Railroad, and he took them home telling me they were over 100 years old. My 9-year-old brain took it to school and we got a call.


#15 The Hunter’s Child

I teach second grade, and this kid (one of my all-time favorites) brought in a large, black trash bag that was tied at the top. I asked him what was in it, but he said he wanted it to be a surprise. When it was time for show-and-tell, he struggled to get the bag to the front of the class, but when he got there he pulled the bag off and it was a taxidermied bear from the shoulders up. Wide eyes, bared teeth, the works. Kid’s dad was an avid hunter (he would bring me elk and venison throughout the year), and when I texted him a picture of his super proud kid at show and tell he was like, “I was wondering what happened to Leroy!”

I texted the picture to his former kindergarten and first-grade teachers to ask if he had ever brought Leroy before, and they told me no, but asked if I could send the student to re-do his show-and-tell for both of their classes because they thought their students would love it.


#16 Be Careful What You Show And Tell

I am a teacher, but this didn’t happen in my class. It was one of the neighbor’s kids though. His parents had bought a remote farm a mile down the road from us. It was the early 1990s. The first grader brought in a #10 can full of his parents’ illegal farm crop production to show what they grew on his farm.

Parents had acres of illegal crop. If I remember right, there were some twenty or so. They had only lived there a year, so this would have been the first crop. The crop was burned. The parents went to jail. The kid went in to foster care for a few years.


#17 Another Way To Learn About The Birds And The Bees

I was a middle school science teacher, so I always had crazy stuff coming through my door. Insects of all forms, various types of bones from different animals, snake shedding, actual snakes (usually garden snakes), and my personal favorite was a kitten one kid found walking to school (they wanted to know if it was a bobcat. I wondered about that kid sometimes).

Once, a kid brought in a praying mantis and we put it in the cage with another praying mantis we were keeping. They mated and the female bit the male’s head off afterward as the class watched. That was an interesting letter to send home. A couple months later, we had tons of baby mantis hatchlings during class and the mom was literally eating them in her water dish, so the kids all took some home. That was an even more interesting letter.


#18 A Heart Wringer

I had a child bring in a set of journals his birth mother had written to him. He asked me to read aloud a section that explained why she chose his new parents to adopt him. He was so proud to explain to his friends how his birth mother loves him so much, that she interviewed his parents to make sure they would love him as much as her.


#19 Game Over

I am in teacher training, but this happened when I was in school. This kid would always bring in his Tom & Jerry VHS and the show-and-tell was us getting to watch an episode of it. One time, another kid who now understood how this worked brought in Scooby-Doo and the class went crazy wanting to watch that instead. The Tom & Jerry kid had a full-on screaming meltdown, and after that videos were banned from show-and-tell. If someone brought one in, they only got to read the blurb and show everyone the box.


#20 A Devoted Brother

A four-year-old brought his very-recently-deceased baby sister’s ashes in an urn. We had no choice but to let him stand up and do his thing. It was horribly awkward for everyone involved, and then the wanted kids to ask him questions.


#21 No Weapons Allowed

It wasn’t show-and-tell, but career day.

This young gentleman’s father was deployed so he couldn’t come to school that day and tell us about his experience in the infantry. The student, however, knew that I served in the infantry, and thought it would be a good decision to bring in the launcher that his dad had around the house.

I called his mom and we had a very brief discussion on the amount of paperwork I agreed we should avoid if she does her part observing what he takes out of the house.

I still laugh about the kid’s nonchalance of walking into homeroom with a rocket launcher. I hope he goes on to do great things someday.


#22 The Ultimate Gift

I was a student teacher in a second-grade class, taking over different roles throughout the day with my master teacher observing. We had a “sharing time,” in case students didn’t have anything to show. A student told us all about a “babymaker” blanket that had magic abilities. He said his dad gave it to his mom for her birthday. I tried to quickly move to another student but everyone in the class had questions. Needless to say, my master teacher had a pretty good laugh!


#23 This Mom Goes For Accuracy Over Safety

Not show-and-tell, but in second grade, we do an Ellis Island simulation where the students go through all the stops that the immigrants made. They start off on the crowded boat, wait in lines, go through baggage check, etc. Parent volunteers assist. One parent at baggage check came to us with a small bottle of liquor they confiscated from a student’s luggage. It was a bottle from the student’s “homeland.” Most kids brought a picture of their family or treasured stuffed animal. The kid’s mom didn’t understand the problem.


#24 Children Teaching Children

I worked at a low-income school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. For show-and-tell, many of my students didn’t bring in objects. Instead, one nine-year-old girl spoke Spanish to the class and talked about her family’s struggles since emigrating to the US from Mexico. I was so taken aback by how much thought she put into it at such a young age, and the other students got to benefit from hearing her perspective and asking her questions. I’m always amazed by how insightful kids can be.


#25 Freedom Of Religion Is Serious

A fourth grader brought an obsidian statuette of the goddess Pele that he took from his mom’s altar without permission. He proceeded to explain how Pele “was worshipped by his mom” and what the goddess could do if she was  “angered.”

The next day, I was asked to come to the office. “The phone has not stopped ringing since your little pagan show-and-tell,” the principal informed me. Some parents were quite upset about me, a teacher, “giving the kid a forum” to explore his “heathen” interests. The principal, however, stood by me.

The mom later came to school to tell those parents “she was Wiccan indeed,” and to leave her child alone. Good times.


#26 It’s What Is Inside That Counts

I used to work at an after school program, and a kindergartner brought his favorite pouch that he used for his toy trucks. He liked it because it was purple and had yellow strings to tie with… but it was definitely a liquor bag that he got from his dad because “he had so many of them.” I didn’t have the heart to take it away, so I just told him the other kids would be jealous, and he should leave it in his backpack.


#27 The Bug Boy

Not for show-and-tell, but I had a little boy in kindergarten who had bugs crawling in his backpack and on his clothing several times. It got to the point where we met with the parents and social services because we were concerned about possible infestations in his living conditions and wanted to provide support for the family. The parents thanked us for our concern but insisted that there were no issues at home and they had no idea where these bugs were coming from.
Then one day, on the playground, I see this kid super excited and digging around a tree. I go check and see what he’s up to and he’s found some beetles by the tree. He’s catching them and putting them in his pockets. Turned out, the little guy just loved bugs so he would look for them and catch them wherever he went. He never told us because he was scared.
I gave him a little Tupperware container to keep in his pocket so he would have somewhere to keep them. Then I showed him how to release them back outside when he was done. The parents were very relieved to figure out what was going on and got him enrolled in a science camp that summer.


#28 A Kid And His Microwave

This was not my class, but I worked in a Pre-K center. A kid in the class across from us brought a microwave. That was interesting. We had lots of sheep, goats, and chickens too, but the strangest had to be the microwave.

#29 Lungs And A Vacuum

A kid brought in a pair of pig’s lungs and a vacuum. He showed everyone how lungs work then proceeded to pump them full of smoke. We all watched in horror as the pink tissue blackened. I’m still traumatized.


#30 And The Creepiest Show And Tell Award Goes To…

I’m not a teacher, but I ran an after-school program for fourth and fifth graders when I was in grad school. One kid had brought in a cell lock and skeleton keys from San Quentin’s death row for show-and-tell earlier in the day.

It was equal parts creepy and cool. I don’t remember how the kid or his family came to own it.


#31 Outdoorsy To Say The Least

A fifth-grade student at my school did his history presentation on how to tan hides. He trapped a raccoon, then skinned and tanned it himself using traditional methods.

This is the coolest kid I know. He will often not eat dinner with his family, but instead traps and cooks his own meals over a fire. He took a survival course where he stayed three weeks in the Tennessee mountains living off the land and learning how to survive.

Did I mention that this 12-year-old boy has a curio cabinet in his bedroom where he collects old perfume bottles?


#32 That’s Probably Worth A Lot

When I was student teaching, one of the first graders brought in a papyrus from Egypt. He had Egyptian ancestry, and it was passed through the family. It was really cool.


#33 Flashing The Class

I taught junior kindergarten for a while. A four-year-old dropped his pants at show-and-tell once. My co-teacher quickly helped him to cover up.

After some giggles from the children, the boy went into an articulate story about how his “little guy” got stuck in a glass container somehow at home and got bruised.

I had an extremely difficult time keeping a straight face throughout this intense story. His parents were also struggling to be serious when they picked him up that day.

It was a good time.


#34 Nunchucks By Association

I had a three-year-old from my toddler class bring in nunchucks and perform a routine with them. A parent in the classroom approached me later on that week because her son had been so amazed by his classmate’s nunchuck routine, that he took two of his mom’s tampons and pretended to use them as nunchucks.


#35 Not Your Average Stuffed Bear

I had a kid bring a teddy bear with her dad’s ashes in it. She called the bear “Dad”.