Every fourth and fifth grade student will write a mystery story this month. We'll be looking at the characteristics of mysteries first, and then read a few, before we start drafting this week. Rough drafts should be completed during Spring Break. And final drafts are due April 30.
I think the kids are excited about returning to fiction writing. Hopefully they told you how we kicked off the project last Wednesday...we started by reading the first two-thirds of a mystery story, "The Case of the Missing Billy," together. After discussing it, the entire third floor took part in several crime lab activities. Our goal was to get them thinking and acting like detectives, to help them write better stories. They dusted for fingerprints, examined mysterious powders and fibers, analyzed footprints and teeth impressions, and even interviewed the suspects.
That's right. A brave and dedicated group of teachers (not me) got into full costume and played the role of suspects from the story. It was quite a hoot! Take a look:
From left to right you see: Karen the hairdresser with bad hair, Mr. Grumpy the grumpy landlord, Suzie the frazzled victim, and Mrs. Squalor the bunny-hating gardener.
The kids had a great time. Hopefully they're excited about writing yet another great story. Be sure to ask them about it regularly, and also to help them with their rough drafts during Spring Break!