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- Kids love reading and writing mysteries. When you add secret codes, fingerprinting, and invisible ink, they’re really hooked! These activities will engage your little detectives. They're specially designed for third, fourth, and fifth grade students. All resources are available as printable PDFs and$16.00$21.00Save $5.00
- Five weeks of detective-themed ELA activities engage fourth and fifth grade students. The mystery bundle includes reading, critical thinking, and writing projects; two novel studies; a simulation; and book report templates. A complete 25-day schedule guides instruction. To support classroom and dist$35.00$46.00Save $11.00
Add some writing to your mystery genre study! Choose from three activities: (1) puzzle pictures, (2) choose-your-own-clues stories, or (3) traditional mapped mysteries.
The projects are sequenced from simplest to most complex. If you want shorter bursts of writing, create pictures or use paper bags. To work on narrative development, try the mapped detective story. For differentiation, you can assign activities based on readiness. Or, if you’re like me, have all students do all three!
To support classroom, blended, or distance learning, you'll receive PDFs and editable Google Slides.
Puzzle Pictures - This little activity is really a craft. It makes a great classroom display. Kids print or cut pictures of well-known objects, animals, or people. Then they write clues beneath the picture. They cut a small hole in a piece of construction paper and staple the it on top of the picture. Classmates study a small piece of the picture through the hole, read the clues, and guess what it is. Then they lift the construction paper to see if they’re right.
Paper Bag Create Your Own Stories
In the Classroom - To prepare for this activity, cut and fold three sets of cards: character, setting, and situation. Place each set in a labeled paper bag. Students pick one card from each bag, then develop a story around them.
At Home - Students select characters, setting, and events from lists of ideas. Then they plan and write their mysteries.
Mapped Detective Story - Kids develop their own plots. First, they analyze a mystery reading passage, “The Case of the Missing Cookies” (included). Then they take these steps to organize, develop, and write their own whodunits:
- Choose a problem/crime.
- Explore setting.
- Develop characters - including suspects with motive and opportunity.
- Map the plot with at least three clues and one red herring.
- Experiment with beginnings and endings; choose a pair.
- Edit with a peer.
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I'm committed to continual improvement. This resource was updated on April 6, 2020.