Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mystery Case Files

Hello Friends! Today was one of those magical days in teaching for me.  You know the ones where you feel like your lessons went well, you asked good questions, your kids did not look bored one bit?  This success is largely due to Beth Newingham and her amazing idea for Reading Detectives.  My students were so excited to get their case files yesterday! We had already discussed mysteries and the vocabulary such as suspects, crime, and clues.  Once they got their Case Files we were ready to get to work.  Yesterday we simply used them as a station during reading.  For the station, they were to look through their mystery book, examine the front and back covers, and write their predictions about their mystery. 

Today the students got in their detectives groups and discussed their predictions.  We recently made an anchor chart that I found on Pinterest about partner talk so we used that as a guide.

 After the students discussed their predictions, they read the first chapter of their mystery.  The students choose how they read it- independently or with partners.  I walked around and talked to each group after they completed their chapter.  I asked them what they read about, if they knew the problem in the story yet, if they had any suggestions, how they knew if their character was "nice" or "brave",if they liked their book so for and so on.  I really enjoyed this part of the lesson! They had some great observations and it gave me the opportunity to check for understanding and give them feedback on their partner talking.  Students could add any suspects or information about their detective to the papers in their case files and then they moved on to other reading activities.  

A lot of the items I am using in my mystery case files can be bought from One Extra Degree on TPT or downloaded from Beth Newingham's site.  I highly recommend checking this things out if you are interested in a mystery unit!  Here are some photos!  I told my kids to give me their best detective poses. Check back this weekend to hear about the awesome geometry project we started today too!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing my partner talk anchor chart! I'm your newest follower!