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The Westing Game Activities | Mystery Novel Study Unit

Grade Levels
4th - 6th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Compatible with 
51 pages
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Also included in

  1. Five weeks of detective-themed ELA activities engage fourth and fifth grade students. The unit includes mystery reading, critical thinking, and writing projects; two novel studies; a simulation; and book report templates. A complete 25-day schedule guides instruction. To support classroom and distan
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Support your students as they study this complex mystery novel. A variety of activities support kids at they piece together clues about the game of Sam Westing. The resource includes questions, a booklet for taking notes, and more!

Now, to support both classroom and distance learning, resources in this unit are available as printable PDFs and editable Google Slides. Open the preview for a sample.

What’s Included:

  • Detective's Journal – Kids take notes and make observations in this 24-page foldable booklet. They find roles of the selected tenants, analyze the obituary and the will, find clues for each pair of heirs, take notes on characters, and wrap up by identifying the mystery and its solution. Additional pages for notes and observations are also included. [Teacher/Parent Directions: Print the booklet back-to-back on six sheets of paper; fold.]

  • Discussion Guide - Whether you study in small groups, as a class, or at home, these questions help students understand details of the text. They are designed to promote discussion and keep kids focused. [Note: Not all questions can be clearly answered due to the ambiguous nature of the game. These questions were designed for discussion only.]

  • Character Sheets - To promote greater interaction and deeper understanding, display these Westing heir sheets. Students share their findings for each character with the class.

  • Character Cards - Let your kids create their own character trading cards! Each of the 24 cards has space for a drawing and character information.

  • BONUS: Support Materials – Three pages of teaching notes will help you navigate the novel. The lyrics for “America the Beautiful” can be offered to students when they’re ready to combine all their clues. Brief rules for the game of chess will help them understand how Ellen Raskin has woven an elaborate game of chess through this book.

Enjoy teaching The Westing Game!

Brenda Kovich, NBCT

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Total Pages
51 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.


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