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Christmas Reading Mystery: Once Upon A Crime, Rescue Rudolph! A fun reading and comprehension activity to engage young readers this Christmas. NO PREP, just print and go!
- The main goal in this mystery is to encourage reading.
- The work involved to solve the clues covers skills such as comprehension; spelling; vocabulary; synonyms; cause and effect.
- Students must highlight the evidence in the reading to prove their answers.
- The discovery format requires a fill in the missing letter process to unlock clues.
- Reading is required to be able to solve the missing letters in words, sentences, and statements.
- Each clue requires students to critically think to decide which suspects they can eliminate from their suspect list. The last suspect remaining is the one who kidnapped Rudolph!
All of the reading passages are included in this original story that features your 'student detective' as the star throughout.
Video Hook included for optional use - view in the preview thumbnail section.
The MP4 file is included within the compressed ZIP folder of the download.
This is a print and go activity. Everything that you need for this activity is in the download, including the reading passages. Just print, copy for your students and set up the (optional) video hook for viewing at the start! The video hook is designed to make students think 'what's going on?' This was done on purpose to encourage them to read.
Depending on your students' reading abilities, the ease of this activity may vary. To keep everyone at the same pace, you could read the passages together as a class and then follow up with the activities to fill in the missing letters that will help unlock a clue. For independent work, set a timer for reading only, and then allow them time to answer the questions and re-read the text if they need. If your students find this too easy, I'd recommend the 'Private Eye CSI - Literacy Mysteries' range instead, which requires inferring and more skill to solve the mystery.
If your students are trying to attempt the activity section without reading the passages, instruct them to highlight the evidence in the reading text to show you where they found the answers.
How long will this activity take?
This varies depending on the age and reading level of your students. If you would like to keep your class at the same point, I recommend pacing the clues one by one.
The same 'self-checking feature' included in this design as in my math mystery range.
What are Once Upon a Crime Reading Mysteries?
Learn more about what to expect in this blog post.
There are FIVE clues to crack!
- Cause and Effect
- Character Traits
- Critical Thinking
- Writing (optional on the mystery declaration sheet)
OPTIONAL: After finishing the five clue sheets, an optional mystery declaration sheet can be used to state the kidnapper. On this declaration page, students report WHO they think is the culprit, plus outline the clues discovered along with their elimination reasoning for each.
Fun printable awards in an article format included too! (Shhh.... keep these a secret as they reveal the mystery answer in the newspaper article your little star detective is also featured in.)
You will also receive instructions, answer sheets and an elimination guide.
Your feedback on this resource would be appreciated.
NEW Alternative Structure updated to this Resource for Differentiation:
A new 'B-Edition' Alternative Structure is now included for differentiation purposes. This alternative copy of Rescue Rudolph removes the missing letter filling structure and requires full answers. If you choose to use the B-Edition copy, you will need to prep the clue cards into envelopes or boxes (or keep hidden) and students will need to check-in with you to gain access to each clue.
Check out the 'Read me' file included in the folder download first.
Thank you and enjoy!
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Add extra motivation with this Detective Rank Chart Download the Mystery Record & Rank Chart FREEBIE HERE
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