Groundhog Day Reading Mystery: Reading Comprehension Passages & Questions

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378 Ratings
Mrs J's Resource Creations
Grade Levels
2nd - 4th
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  • Google Apps™
18 pages
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Mrs J's Resource Creations
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The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).
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  1. This Reading Mystery Bundle contains all of my 'Once Upon a Crime' story activity packets to date. It will be a growing bundle since any future reading mysteries of the 'Once Upon a Crime' series will also be added to this bundle. Easy prep! Just Print & Solve! Or go paperless with the new Googl
    Price $57.20Original Price $75.75Save $18.55


Groundhog Day Reading Mystery: Once Upon A Crime, BURROW SLIME! A fun reading and comprehension activity to engage young readers. Easy prep! Just Print & Solve! Or go paperless with the new Google Slides option provided within your download.

Distance Learning Update: I've added a Word Document within the folder that contains a Google Doc link to share this resource with your students via Google Classroom or Drive. Parts of the pages are editable so that your students can complete without having to print the pages. Please note, you will need to make a copy of the Google Slides to your drive before you can edit.

--> I've now also added a PowerPoint that contains the Worksheets as images with editable textboxes for those who use Microsoft.

  • 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. (Differentiation Option included, B-Edition Structure, which requires full answers, but teacher to check. Word Banks provided to make the word puzzles easier.)
  • Reading is required to be able to solve the missing letters in words, sentences, and statements or to answer the questions/solve the vocabulary puzzles.
  • Each clue requires students to critically think and use deductive reasoning to decide which suspects they can eliminate from their suspect list. The last suspect remaining is the culprit!

(Please note, that the groundhog is OK and is just trapped asleep inside his burrow).

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.

Update: Ending Video Clip added to wrap up the activity.


This is a print and solve activity (or use the new update where the worksheets are on Google Slides/PPT with editable text boxes for answers). (The B-Edition may require a little bit more prep if you wish to set up the clue cards in envelopes or lock boxes for discovery). The reading passages that you need for this activity are in the download. 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.

Implementation suggestion:

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. Use the B-Edition to increase the difficulty or remove the missing letter format. Use the optional word bank to ease up the vocabulary puzzles. 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.

Read more about implementing this activity in your classroom HERE.

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!


- Reading

- Comprehension

- Spelling

- Rhyming

- Definitions

- Character Traits

- Vocabulary

- 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 culprit. On this declaration page, students report WHO they think slimed the groundhog's burrow, 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 features in.)

You will also receive instructions, answer sheets, and an elimination guide.

Your feedback on this resource would be appreciated.

Differentiation Options included with this Resource

  • A 'B-Edition' Alternative Structure is included for differentiation purposes. This alternative copy of Burrow Slime 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.
  • Word Banks are included within a single file found in the alternate options. These are useful if you need to make this activity easier for some of your students.
  • Check out the 'Read me' file included in the folder download first.

Thank you and enjoy!

You may also be interested in:

Groundhog Day Math Mystery: Case of The Kidnapped Groundhog

Reading Mystery - Once upon a Crime: Stolen Time

Valentine's Day Reading Mystery: Once Upon a Crime - Poisoned Valentine

Add extra motivation with this Detective Rank Chart Download the Mystery Record & Rank Chart FREEBIE HERE


For more ideas, activities, and resources, follow my store (by clicking the little green star) to stay updated on new releases. We can also stay connected via:





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Thank you!

Mrs. J.

© 2018

Total Pages
18 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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