Research Mysteries (grades 4-8)

 

Author: Loreen Azevedo, Sonoma Country Day School, California

 

Subject: Research/Library skills

 

Objective: Solve the mystery using library references

 

Materials and Preparation: The Mysteries of Research by Sharron Cohen (or teacher written mysteries). Reference resources such as dictionary, encyclopedia, atlas, etc. or Internet access.

 

Student Grouping: Teams of 2-3 students.

 

The Play: Students read the mystery and "statements" from four suspects. They then check the facts in a suspect's statement to determine who committed the crime and why. Suspects are guilty if a student catches them in a lie (that can be proved by research resources).

 

Scoring: Solutions in the book.

 

Further Play: Students could get to the stage whereby they write their own mysteries.

 

Comments or Variations: My students LOVE this activity and beg for it for PAT. I've found it works best with 6th or 7th graders and it's a great way to have them see the value of and learn to use printed resources. (I don't always allow them to use the Internet.)

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