This is an activity that I do with my eighth grade as an intro to my detective fiction unit. The easy reading level helps to pull in my struggling readers.
The rest of the unit we focus more on the Sherlock Holmes stories. This takes about one class period. I used the book Encyclopedia Brown Boy Detective #1 by Donald Sobol. I separated the stories, let my kids pick partners, and had them read the stories. I kept the solutions, so my students would have to problem solve and look for clues in the reading to solve the mystery.
Directions: Pick a partner or partners. Choose one of the provided stories and answer questions 1-4. Be sure to use your best academic grammar (capital letters, punctuation, complete sentences, etc.) when responding.
What is the title of the story that you and your partner(s) chose?
Name and describe the characters in your story.
What is the mystery in your particular story?
What is your guess as to how Encyclopedia solves the mystery?
Get the solution to your story from me. After you read the solution, answer this question.
Were you correct?
Yes! We knew it 100%!!!!
Nope. We weren't even close.
We were close. We were off by one or two elements of the case.
Directions: Respond to the following questions. Be sure to use your best academic grammar (capital letters, punctuation, complete sentences, etc.) when responding.
Was there a "red herring" in your story? If so, describe it.
Summarize the entire plot including the solution in a minimum of three good sentences.
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