WHO KILLED MISS JACKSON?
Skills: Analyze text, determine importance, infer, synthesize, question, use background information, monitor for understanding, speaking, and listening
Age groups: 10-17
Materials: Character cards, Character Analysis Worksheet
Time: About an hour
Preparation and Rules
Explain to the class that you are going to play a murder mystery game. Everyone will be a character in the game and one of them is the murderer! Give them the background information:
You need 7 students to play the game. The main character cards all contain clues to working out the mystery. For bigger groups use the supplementary cards (they contain no real clues) or for groups of fourteen or more, split the students into two groups and play the game as a competition to see who can work out the mystery first.
Give each student a character card. They need to read and memorize the information. The aim is to act out the game, become the character and not to just read the information from the card. At this point answer any questions students might have about their character.
Hand out the worksheets, explain to the class they need to collect information about everyone who was at the party and fill any relevant information on the sheet. At this point go over key vocabulary: alibi, motive, clue. There vocabulary sheets attached to the slides/document.
This stage is a mingling activity with students asking questions and collecting information. Students will try to stay in character and walk around asking questions of one another. Allow students time to get into character, and even come up with funny accents. While students are mingling, you may need to walk around and just listen to conversations.
When the students have spoken to everyone who was at the party, have them go back into their original groups. Take back the character cards. Using the information they have collected, the students try to work out who killed Miss Jackson and why they did it. This part of the lesson usually leads to some lively discussion, most students will quickly guess who the killer is but the information needs to be carefully looked at to work out the why.