Monday, January 16, 2012

A Month of Mysteries- Part 1 Vocabulary

I have a mystery to solve...What happened to my super long post that I have been working on for several days?  I went to open it today and it vanished...a blank screen...UGGGHHH!!!  I am going to post this in three parts so I don't lose it again.
I am trying to get my class to read different genres this year and I decided to kick off the new year with a mystery unit.  I was never a fan of mysteries growing up, but we never had the selection that our kids have now...the choices that I had were Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys. 
 I did some research on the Internet for "Mystery Ideas" and was inspired by Beth Newingham's Blog. Go to teacher resources and it is listed under Reading Workshop, and then Reading Detectives.  She also has a unit "Exploring the Mystery Genre" on Scholastic.  I dressed the kids up as detectives and took some photos. (Lucky for me, I do costumes for our High School Drama Department and had a great trench coat and plenty of hats)

We started off the unit talking about vocabulary words that are in mysteries.  The children came up with a long list of words that we knew.  I created three folders labeled: nouns, verbs and adjectives.  I typed up their words and added some of my own.  I punched them out using one of my Stampin Up punches.  The next day, we sorted the words into the three categories and the children realized that many of the words could be used as different parts of speech.   A couple of examples were, caution,  spy and suspect.  I had the children then choose 2 nouns, a verb and an adjective to write a quotation for their speech bubble.  They are hanging on my "Get a Clue" bulletin board with their photos.  The font I used is called "Old Typewriter" in case you want to make your own lists.  Click the documents on the left below to download the sheets that I used.  The children are collecting new words as they read their independent books and putting them on sticky notes in the folders.  (I will type them up later)

Click for Printables

Here are some of my detectives and their quotes:

Part 2- Kicking off the Case File Book Report!
Coming Soon...


  1. Hi! I stumbled across you blog on Pinterest! I am just starting the credential program, so I am so excited to find your blog since my first placement will be in a fourth grade class!

    I love your Mystery ideas! I cannot wait to read more :)

  2. Congrats Sarah on starting your credential program! I hope you have a great experience in fourth grade and can incorporate some of my ideas in your placement.

  3. Hi!
    I also stumbled across your blog on Pinterest! As I printed out the parts of speech fingerprints, I realized that your PDF had "adjectives" listed twice and the "verbs" fingerprint was missing. Is there anyway you could add that into the freebie file? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi David,

      I don't know how that happened but it should be all set!!!