Making a Murderer Teaching Unit Season 1, Episodes 1-10
Engage your students in meaningful debate and critical-thinking exercises using my materials for teaching "Making a Murderer," the popular Netflix® documentary about Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. Students will not only view and analyze the episodes, but they will read and research primary documents. This is nonfiction your students will WANT to read, research, dissect, and evaluate.
The "Making a Murderer" Teaching Unit for Season 1, Episodes 1-10 includes the following individual resources:
• Making a Murderer Presentation for Episodes 1-10 (Who’s Who in the Documentary):
Editable presentation and student handouts that identifies 89 people from the documentary. Helps students to remember who's who; great for visual display in classroom.
• Making a Murderer Pre-Viewing Anticipation Guide and Questions:
Excellent activity and discussion to prepare students for the unit. Includes follow-up activity for the end of the unit.
• Making a Murderer Questions and Analysis for Season 1, Episodes 1-10:
Standards-based critical-thinking questions and activities for each episode (8-15 questions per episode). Also includes writing prompts, mini-research activities, close-reading passages from primary documents (police reports, episode and court transcripts, etc.). The files can be purchased individually, as well (see below).
• Making a Murderer Vocabulary Exercises Episodes 1-10 Season 1:
Standards-based vocabulary exercises and crosswords covering terms used in all 10 episodes of the documentary.
• Making a Murderer Final Writing Assessments
• Making a Murderer Episode Analysis Questions for ANY Episode
• Pacing guide:
Includes the timeframe I used for each episode and the activities my students completed. I spent 5 weeks on the unit (approx. 2 episodes per week in a 50-min./5-days-per-week class). However, it can be taught in less time, depending on whether you will assign episode viewing as homework (flipped class) or watch and discuss in class, and the amount of time you have with your students each week.
• Making a Murderer Questions and Analysis for Season 1, Episode 1
• Making a Murderer Questions and Analysis for Season 1, Episodes 2-3
• Making a Murderer Questions and Analysis for Season 1, Episodes 4-5
• Making a Murderer Questions and Analysis for Season 1, Episodes 6-7
• Making a Murderer Questions and Analysis for Season 1, Episodes 8-10
• Any new files created for the unit will be added/updated here, free of charge.
The zipped folder contains separate Microsoft Word files (.doc and .docx) for each episode; PDF versions of all the episode activities; PDF teacher's answer keys; a folder with supplemental files including the transcripts of each episode and non-fiction articles; Powerpoint presentation, including folder with individual images for display or printing.
The editable versions can be used for a paperless activity by sharing it on a secured site such as Google Classroom or Edmodo. Perfect for the flipped classroom!
Updated to include a parent permission form for viewing.
Why use "Making a Murderer" in the classroom?
- Hooks and engages students
- Students participate in lively discussions and debates
- Practices critical-thinking skills
- Practices problem-solving skills
- It's relevant right now
PLEASE NOTE: I use this with high school upperclassmen. Because of the content of the series, use your discretion to decide if it is appropriate for your students. The series is rated for audiences ages 14 and up, but it may not be suitable for your students/school community. I highly recommend using permission slips for parent consent.
Created and Copyrighted by Tracee Orman
DISCLAIMER: This resource is not affiliated with the producers of “Making a Murderer,” Netflix™, the families or people involved, or any of the previous-mentioned partners or associates. It is for EDUCATIONAL purposes only.
The NGA Center/CCSSO are the sole owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards © Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved.