Grade Levels
5th - 8th
Resource Type
Formats Included
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  • Activity
68 pages
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Easel Activities Included
Some resources in this bundle include ready-to-use interactive activities that students can complete on any device. Easel by TpT is free to use! Learn more.


This 20% off brain teaser and brain breaks mysteries no-prep, money-saving bundle is perfect for building classroom community! Two brain teaser freebies are included to make the deal even sweeter. The resources are also part of an exciting 50% off brain teaser bundle: 50% OFF BRAIN TEASER BIG BARGAIN BUNDLE.

Brain Teaser Mini-Mysteries

These mini-mysteries are not only fun brain teasers and brain breaks for Middle School students, but also practice listening, comprehension and inference making skills. They are carrots for the end of the day, or even bell ringers. Alternatively, early finishing or talented students could read the mysteries on their own. The most obvious methods of using these 15 tales are to read each one out loud or to show them on your screen. The students then guess the solutions. If you want them to work a bit harder, they could record and explain their guesses on the included worksheet, and write their own story, using the guidelines. The solutions are on a different page from the story and its question, so that students cannot see them accidentally; that would really spoil the fun! A few stories are ‘one offs,’ but some characters like riddlers Matt and Sophie, and Mr and Mrs Orange and their twins Pip and Peel, appear in more than one tale.

Included in the resource:

15 vividly illustrated mini mysteries.

An optional tips page, explaining the most common mystery/ riddle clue types.

An optional working page, so students can write down their guesses, and keep a tally of how many mysteries they got right.

A mini-mystery writing advice sheet, to guide students in writing one of their own.

A simple teacher rubric to mark the students’ own mini-mysteries.

The Mystery of the Campsite Thief
This fun brain teaser mystery will entertain your students and give them inference tasks to deduce the identity of the thief. To track down the thief they will have to unscramble the answers to jokes and riddles told by riddler Sophie to her friend Matt. They will also work out clues using a numbers-to-alphabet code. A further slice of challenging fun is rooting out the writer’s ‘mistake’- an event in the story that really could not have happened. Students will enjoy the humorous, rapid-fire interaction between Matt and Sophie. He fears he isn’t as speedy at working things out as his clever friend is, but he manages to wow her in this story- and discover who stole her phone!

To complete the activity, students have to complete two short fun writing tasks and a ‘Where’s Waldo?’ style drawing to find the missing phone. This resource will delight both entire classes and early finishing individuals.

A question sheet is included, and an answer key. Each student will need their own question sheet. For read-aloud fun (and paper saving), you could put the story and answers up on your screen. Alternatively, you can photocopy the story, questions and answers, and give them to pairs or individuals.

60 ELA Brain Teaser Mini-Mysteries and Puzzles
These 60 brain teaser tasks are perfect to have at the ready for instant fun and critical thinking. If your grades 5-8 students are getting restless and need a change of pace or brain break, or if an activity doesn’t take as long as you predict, bring out these cards! They will create smiles, while also stretching growing brains. It doesn’t get much better really, does it?
Uses for the brain teaser cards
They are ideal for morning work, or even as class closers. Individual students will enjoy challenging themselves, or they can be used in groups to boost classroom community. Early finishers will have lots of fun with them, but they are even more fun when used in small groups, with students taking it in turns to pose the questions. Alternatively, they can be used with whole classes, with the teacher or camp leader reading the cards aloud. Yet one more alternative is that they could be used at home, with parents and siblings. Two thirds of the cards contain a variety of short stories or riddles for students to puzzle over. The other cards mostly seek for similarities between words.

How to set up the activity

If you intend to get the students to ask each other the brain teasers, photocopy

enough question and answer cards for the number of groups you wish to have.

You can leave the cards in sheets (6 to a page) or cut them into individual cards and double back the answers- whatever you prefer! Photocopy them onto card stock or laminate them and they will continue to delight many future classes.

More Brilliantly Lit fun
If your students enjoy the mini-mysteries, they will love my second collection: BRAIN TEASER MINI MYSTERIES VOL#2
For a daily brainteaser to add zing! to the start of a class: BRAINTEASER BELL RINGERS: MYSTERY STORIES, RIDDLES AND PUZZLES FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
ELA Games Grades 5-8

Punctuation mentor sentences and exercises using JOKES will make grammar classes fun! Students will laugh their way to accuracy. PUNCTUATION DIALOGUE PRESENTATION & EXERCISES USING JOKES and

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Total Pages
68 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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