The Body is Missing from the Casket
Students and teachers are always on the look-out for new inspirations for creative writing. The Empty Seat Mysteries are a unique set of writing prompts for intermediate, middle grade, and secondary pupils. This booklet follows the curious mind of a fictional detective as he ventures to attractions of current interest. At each popular park, theater, restaurant, or sold-out event there seems to be one or two empty seats. The writer's task is to create an explanation and describe the circumstances that lead to ticket holders and invited guests to miss out on the evening's entertainment. In every exercise the characters, setting, plot, and mystery are introduced. Students will be instructed to apply the writing process of prewriting, writing, proofreading, and revision to complete each story and solve The Empty Seat Mystery. Reading and sharing their final drafts with classmates, parents, and teachers will reinforce the joy of writing and its impact on others. Students will also spend quality time developing and practicing the skills necessary to become proficient writers.
The Empty Seat Mysteries have a wide spectrum of classroom application. The basics of writing paragraphs to explain and solve a mystery is just the beginning. Students must be challenged to explore and apply different forms and styles of prose and poetry that encourage higher level creativity. Teachers may use these writing prompts for review and practice, but there is a lot more that can be offered. Pupils can generate fictional and historical narratives, melodramas, comedies, movie scripts, videos, one-act plays, poems, and any other teacher/student brain-stormed project that meets the young writers' needs. The Empty Seat Mysteries supplement classroom lessons and unit plans plus help students prepare for achievement and proficiency testing. These exercises will offer the students a unique outlet to express their thoughts and opinions. Pupils will be users of our language and not just consumers.