This teaching resource includes 8 graphic organizers to help students analyze any work of fiction in which a crime has been committed.
1) Crime Scene Sketch
Students will draw a sketch of the crime scene based on information found in the text.
2) Evidence File
This activity can be done along with, or as an alternative to, the crime scene sketch. Students will record information about different objects that would be found at the crime scene in their text.
3) Newspaper Article
While including the information who, what, when, where, why, and how that is expected in this kind of informational writing, they will also be summarizing the major events of the story or an important incident in the story. This is a good way for students to show their comprehension of a piece of literature.
This activity asks students to review the text carefully for information about a character who has died, while the next activity asks them to search for information about the suspect of the crime.
5) Wanted Poster
This activity asks students to search the text carefully for clues about the character’s traits, appearance, and other identifying information.
6) Psychological Evaluation
Students will consider information about a character’s backstory, as well as their traits, feelings, and motivation while filling out this mock psychological evaluation. This activity requires students to move beyond summarizing information to making inferences and encourages a more critical analysis of the text.
After analyzing a work of fiction, students must decide whether they think the suspect of a crime is innocent, guilty, or not guilty by reason of insanity and include 3 pieces or evidence to support their decision.
8) Inmate Interview Sheet
Students create 5 interview questions for the perpetrator of a crime (whom they can imagine is now serving time) in any work of fiction and imagine their answers to them based on their understanding of this character. The sheet is general enough for students to imagine themselves as a police officer, lawyer, or journalist so that they can role play a character from the story if appropriate.
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