This is a complete writer's workshop for you to use with your students. The best part of this unit is the included original mystery story. I am a retired language arts teacher and former instructor for The Institute of Children's Literature. Throughout this unit, your students will see the formation of my finished story from choosing a title through developing characters, planting clues, and resolving the conclusion. See the revised story I have included as a sample for your students to witness the author's craft!
The accompanying PowerPoint includes introductions on the following topics:
- Characteristics of mystery and suspense
- Mystery writer's vocabulary
- Examples of published mysteries with synopses
- Choosing a theme
- Defining characters
- Describing a setting
- Adding clues, props, and red herrings
- Planning a plot - Organizing and outlining the story
- Writing a rough draft
- Submission of the finished product
Also, I have included worksheets to go with each slide:
- Vocabulary puzzle with answers
- Development of story themes
- Description of characters
- Determining a setting
- Timeline of clues
- Choosing props, clues, and red herrings
This unit is totally student-driven and allows individuality within the framework of the assignment.
I have not included a grading rubric because any writing rubric you currently use is applicable.