I am a big fan of mysteries, so I’ve done a complete mystery lesson plan using a fun mystery story as the basis for a vocabulary and grammar lesson. There’s also practice in close reading and critical thinking as students try to solve the mystery and a graphic organizer to guide students to write their own mystery story. I designed this for my ESL classroom but I know it’s been used in ELA classrooms across the country.
The Mystery Lesson Plan Includes
- Mystery vocabulary such as alibi and motive.
- Using modal verbs of speculation to guess the significance of clues
- A mystery story as along reading
- Reading strategies such as reading for key information and evaluating information
- Graphic organizer in the form of a mystery reading worksheet
- Mystery writing worksheet to help students write their own stories.
There’s complete teacher notes, ideas for alternative or extension activities and an answer key.
Why Use Mysteries
I love using mysteries. Here’s a few reasons why.
- They encourage extensive reading. Most people like puzzles and mysteries so it can encourage students to read outside of class.
- When you read a detective story, you tend to read for whodunit, for the outlines of the plot and then for the details. So students learn extensive and intensive reading skills.
- Specifically mysteries teach analytical reading comprehension skills like skimming, scanning, and evaluating important material (i.e. clues)Mysteries are fun. Students love puzzles and riddles. They also love the CSI and Law and Order shows.
- They teach reading and writing to a genre, in this case the Whodunit.
- They give students practice making guesses and speculations
- Provide the perfect jumping off point for creative writing , with good planning as mysteries require a lot of pre-writing outlining.
Preview and Buy the lesson plan?
You can purchase and download the full unit from Teachers Pay Teachers: Whodunit Unit