February 23, 2012

It's a Mystery!

My classroom is knee-deep in mysteries!

A few days before Valentine's Day I started reading aloud Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat.  It's an easy read-aloud, but by reading a book aloud I can usually get my kiddos hooked on a new genre or series.

Of course, the kids loved it!

While reading we started discussing the mystery genre.

I use and love these genre posters from Teacher's Clubhouse.

I print the posters full size for displaying in my gathering area and print smaller versions to put on my literacy focus wall.

To print smaller versions just select the multiple button and choose how many pages you want to fit onto the one page.

Immediately one of my students piped up, "Are you going to put a smaller version on the literacy wall for us to see forever?"

Foooooorrrrrrrr-evvvvvvvveeeeeeerrrrrr!  (imitating The Sandlot)

Well of course, my darlings.
At least until the end of the school year!  :)

When this short but captivating book ended, I introduced the Mapping Out a Mystery also from Teacher's Clubhouse.  We discussed how we would fill it in for this story.

Then I pretended like we were done and I was putting this little map away.

But wait!

Another little darling said, "Hey, could we fill one of those in?"

Really, you'd like to do that?
Well, then of course, but only because I'm such a nice, generous teacher!  (wink, wink)

Thus the mystery bug was let loose.

On Valentine's Day, we performed our own investigation using The Lesson Plan SOS Teachers "Who Stole My Heart?" activity.  This wonderful investigation gets kids learning about fingerprints to figure out who stole my heart.

My little detectives were pure giddy!  (As if Valentine's Day wasn't exciting enough?!)

Next I read aloud an A to Z Mystery.  A little harder read but not too much.
Together we each kept a detective's notebook to keep track of characters (suspects) and clues.  In addition we wrote a summary for each chapter of important events.  

Another little cherub asked if we might be able to use our summary sentences to make a mini-book when we finished the whole book.  (Golly, wouldn't that be fun!)  Illustrations would make it better someone else added!  (Picture me smiling and nodding.)

So, now all the Nate the Great and A to Z mysteries are flying off my bookshelves.  ("I never knew these books were here!" someone was overheard saying.  And a child who doesn't read by choice much said, "I saw them but didn't think they'd be this good!")  {This kiddo is much like me when it comes to reading a new book or author . . . I like a good recommendation first, hence The Best Endings blog!}

And the librarian is inundated with requests for these books too because mine have all been read or someone else has the one the child wants.  Once a week library just isn't enough!

In the midst of it all is one happy teacher who does her job for times like these!

1 comment :

  1. I love when teaching just falls into place!! Looks like so much fun! :)
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher


Thanks for filling my bucket!


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