Five inference worksheets and five short mystery stories help kids in grades 3, 4, and 5 build close reading and and critical thinking skills. These activities are great additions to any mystery genre study. They can also be used as stand-alone reading comprehension activities.
Created by master teacher Brenda Kovich, this set of reading activities is classroom tested and kid approved.
Inferring Practice Pages - In order to understand mysteries, students must be able to pull subtle clues from the text and make inferences. For example, if a character’s eyes are red and puffy, kids can infer that he has been crying (or has allergies). Each set of activities focuses on a specific theme:
These short passages encourage readers to become more observant, pull small details from the text, and make inferences. They’re great for scaffolding to mystery stories.
Mystery Passages - Five short, simple original stories are included. Reading them helps students learn to locate subtle clues (including false clues, or red herrings). They can also act as exemplars for student writing.
A magnifying glass organizer can be found after the first story. Kids use it to jot down clues they have found. This helps them understand how a mystery writer “maps” a set of clues (and throws in some red herrings, or false clues, to make the mystery harder to solve). As the unit progresses, students may use the organizer to write their own mystery stories.
Click PREVIEW for to take a look at the pages.
In my classroom, our mystery unit begins with these reading activities. Students then read a novel (The Maze of Bones for on-level fourth grade or fifth grade readers or The Westing Game for advanced) and write their own mysteries. Lots of fun detective activities are thrown in to make them think. Check out the other mystery unit components!
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I'm committed to continual improvement. This resource was updated on January 21, 2020.