Add a little fun to your current novel study by turning your students into police officers. This official-looking offense/incident report requires students to collect details from their reading and use real-world writing skills to efficiently report the facts (just the facts, ma’am) of the scene you just read.
Students love that I’m not asking them to analyze anything here. This is just straight fact-collection and reporting, but still requires a significant understanding of the details of the passage they’re studying. Part of the police report assignment also includes a crime/incident-scene artistic sketch, which students of all ages (yes, even my high school seniors) really love. You might want to have some colored pencils on hand because students always ask for them.
Depending on the piece of literature, I sometimes allow students to fabricate a witness who isn’t mentioned in the text, like a nosy neighbor peeking through a window. Most literature, though, works fine with just the people in the scene as it was written.
This 2-page PDF file includes a blank form and a completed sample to show students, if you wish. The sample is from my students’ study of The Outsiders, detailing the heroic rescue of children from a burning church by Johnny Cade and Ponyboy Curtis, but you could use this worksheet with ANY book or short story that has a crime/incident scene that would warrant police attention.
Want an eyewitness account of Miss Maudie Atkinson’s house fire in To Kill a Mockingbird? This would work.
Want someone to report the creepy action of an Edgar Allan Poe story to police? Oh yeah, the authorities will need this form.
Want to catalog the atrocities committed in Denmark’s royal palace? The witnesses in Shakespeare’s Hamlet will certainly keep your police officers busy.
Hope you enjoy this activity, which works with fifth graders through high school seniors.
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Please note: This is the same form sold as part of my lesson materials for Roald Dahl's short story, "Lamb to the Slaughter," which you can view by clicking HERE. No need to purchase this item if you've already purchased the Dahl materials or this short story unit bundle.
There's also a version of this worksheet used with my budget-priced Huckleberry Finn unit
, Of Mice and Men unit
, To Kill a Mockingbird unit
, and my five-week Julius Caesar unit.
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