Xx is for x-ray!

A fun, hands-on way to explore the letter Xx with your students!

My students explored the letter Xx and the best word that I know of to examine the letter Xx is x-ray!

Begin with a Book

We had lots of fun with the word x-ray and today, I will share with you how the children made their own x-rays. We began by introducing x-rays with a book titled, “My Body” which is a Scholastic discover more book.  I hadn’t planned on reading the entire book because there is a lot of great information in the book. But my students were so interested in the book, that we took a picture walk through the book and stopped and talked about any page that captured the children’s attention which, by the way, was most of the book…

Making Connections to the Story

After looking through the book, I asked the children if they could use their x-ray vision to tell me what was inside my box….

Using the Story to make Predictions

The children informed me that they didn’t have x-ray vision so they didn’t know what was inside my box. Instead, they could guess what was inside my box and their first guess was that it was full of bones.  That was a really great guess, after all, we had looked at a book with bones and even copied one picture from the book to take a closer look at the bones…

So I gave the children a hint and told them that inside the box were things we could eat to help us have a healthy body and even healthy bones.  This hint led the children to make all kinds of great guesses and since we couldn’t see through the box with x-ray vision, we finally decided it was time to examine what was inside the box by actually opening it up…

Inside the box we found fruits and vegetables, a bottle of water and some milk…

Making their own X-rays

And now it was time to head off to make our own x-rays using our special x-ray ink  (a cup of water with black liquid water color added)…

The How To

To make our own x-rays, the children started by drawing around their hands. I did the first hand tracings and the children took it from there and did the second hand tracings or any other drawing they liked.  We traced our hands on a piece of folded paper towels…

Once we completed drawing around our hands, the children used glue to draw “bones” inside their hands…

The glue lines were best if they were thick but we let the children explore the process of adding glue lines any way they wished…

Once the children completed their lines of glue (or bones) they folded the second half of their paper towel on top of the glue lines and pressed down so that the two sheets of paper towels were firmly pressed against one another (the glue was now in between the two paper towels)…

And now the children were ready to add the x-ray ink. The children dripped the x-ray ink all over the outside of the paper towel until they could see all of their bones appear through the ink…

And once the entire surface was black, the bones did indeed begin to show through…

Examining the X-rays

The darker the ink, the better the bones showed up but after all the x-rays dried, everyone’s x-ray show up brilliantly!

Embracing the Process

The children caught on to the process easily and asked to make more x-rays. The children explored the process by drawing hearts and other things they found interesting…

The x-ray design and discovery process was fun to explore and we had some pretty amazing results…

After the children completed their x-rays, we let some of the excess x-ray ink drip or drain off just a bit…

Then we set them all out on sheets of drawing paper to dry overnight…

Available on Amazon

By |2019-01-10T15:42:26+00:00April 7th, 2014|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. pari April 7, 2014 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    it was really great.thanks for your perfect ideas.

  2. Judi books April 7, 2014 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    What a great idea!

  3. Jill April 7, 2014 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    Oh wow- that’s amazing! I’ve never seen this process before! Thanks so much Deborah for yet another great idea!!

  4. Laurel Kingman April 7, 2014 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    I just came across this post on Face Book this morning. I am curious to know did you use black water color paint or black food coloring?? I am doing a little “lesson” about body parts with 3 year olds and this would be perfect!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 7, 2014 at 10:20 pm - Reply

      We used black liquid watercolor Laurel. But any watered down black paint or food color would most likely work just as well.

  5. Rainy April 8, 2014 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Preschool kids?Great, but I want to know for myself, look likes fun!

  6. kranthi kumar April 13, 2014 at 10:47 am - Reply

    it is simply superb and quite interesting and useful to the child and ofcourse the teacher

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