Note: Some of my products have some “out there” ideas. Make sure to look at the preview before purchasing. Everyone's classroom is unique and while these lessons work within my classroom, that may not be the case in another’s room.
"Where figures from the past stand tall
And mocking voices ring the halls."
-Dead Souls by Nine Inch Nails
As with any educator, I am always looking for a way to make learning engaging, relevant, and come to life. My newest guide tasks students with becoming a detective to solve the murder of a reclusive scientist named Harris Bullard.
As a game, Dead Secret
is a first-person horror mystery taking place within rural Kansas, in 1965. Throughout the lesson guide, students will investigate, analyze, and write about the murder of Harris Bullard, while trying to decide on the likely culprit.
Note: While I teach this to my ELA 8th grade, I have listed it for high school age students. There are allusions to violence (nothing graphic), and brief adult language within some journal entries. I'd correlate it along the lines of a PG-13 movie.
The activities are inspired by the game, Dead Secret
, by Robot Invader. Throughout their journey, students will also get many opportunities to improve their analytical and evidence based writing skills.
Therefore, Wake Up Sunshine
, is proud to bring you Can You Unearth the Dead Secret
! As with many of my creations, I highly suggest looking at the demo first. Then, if it seems like something you'd like to try, make sure to practice with it first. This IS NOT
a guide where you can simply print, hand out, and hope for the best. Become comfortable with how each Goal (10 in all) functions through each of its 5 or 6 distinct steps.
Suggestions for Teaching
1. Review the characters along with their descriptions (pp. 6 - 12).
2. For each goal (10 total), complete Steps 1 - 5 (or Step 6 if there is a Gotcha’ Moment).
It is up to the educator on how much they would like to do at one time. I conduct each goal as a mini-lesson. For example, one day I would complete Goal 1: Steps 1 - 6. However, you could also break it up even further. For example, you could try the following for Goal 1:
Day 1: Step 1
Day 2: Step 2
Day 3: Step 3
Day 4: Step 4
Day 5: Step 5
Day 6: Step 6 (if needed)
Right before Goal 3, there is an additional activity focusing on Sensory Details.
In the end, do whatever works for you. It is a good idea to go through the guide first to see what may work best for your particular class structure.
Note: DVTA = Directed Viewing/Thinking Activity
3. When Goals 1 - 10 have been completed, move on to the final writing activity.
4. Have students complete the final assessment.
While I do not believe these activities are your run-of-the-mill worksheet handouts; they will certainly allow one’s students to think on much higher and analytical levels, providing a deeper learning experience. The students deserve to be inspired to reach for higher levels.
Included in the Guide →
4 Core Standards
5 Tips for Teaching
6 - 12 Main Characters
13 - 23 Goal 1: Build the Mask to Get Upstairs
24 - 33 Goal 2: Open the Upstairs Chest
34 Visual Feature: Making “Sense” of Snow Blind
35 - 46 Goal 3: Find the Safe Code
47 - 56 Goal 4: Open Safe & Find Secret Room
57 - 65 Goal 5: Complete Calibration
66 - 75 Goal 6: Mix Chemicals to Open Crank
76 - 85 Goal 7: Activate Dream Machine
86 - 95 Goal 8: Get Out of the Cellar
96 - 105 Goal 9: Unlock the Freezer
106 - 108 Goal 10: Choose the Killer
109 - 116 Putting It All Together: The Final Cut (Paper)
117 - 120 Mystery Expert Study Guide - Key Terms
121 - 123 Dead Secret: Final Assessment
124 - 126 Dead Secret: Final Assessment (Key)
Keep in mind . . .
1. I buy the game.
2. I play the game.
3. I make the videos while playing the game.
4. I create the educational activities, which correlate with the game's concepts.
5. I complete the unit guide.
6. I contact and talk to the game's creators to get their blessing on promoting my guides.
In my own classroom, I've had great success with my other video game and educational resources linked below.
Link-Motivate Teenage Writers with Video Games: The Dyatlov Pass Incident
Link-Look at Me! I'm Learning to Code!
Link-Playing with Fire: Literary Activities to Inspire Students in the Digital Age
Link-Sane in the Membrane: Brain Empowering Activities
Overall, as an educator, I believe it is important to be willing to go out of one’s comfort zone and be ready to try something new and innovative. If the results mirror my own classroom, you may be surprised at what your students are able to accomplish!
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