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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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