I did not waste the
opening week of school introducing the course Ė my students solved
mysteries. I took simplified mysteries and split them into 25-30 clues,
each on a single strip of paper.
Read my blog post on how I used this lesson.
I used a random count
off to get the kids away from their buddies and into groups of 5-6
students. Each group got a complete set of clues for the mystery. Each
student in the group got 4-5 clues that they could not pass around to
the other students. They had to share the clues verbally in the group
and that guaranteed that every student is a talker on day one.
demonstrates to students the need for considering the contributions of
every group member and gives them practice in organizing cooperatively
to accomplish a task. In
this exercise every student is given bits of information essential to
the solution of a mystery. With
modifications this exercise can be used to help students organize and
evaluate information and data in a variety of contexts.
You will need a set of
clues for the case for each group. You can use the same case for all
groups, then repeat the exercise with all groups using the second case.
to Murder Mystery Clues
to Bank Robbery Clues
Note - These clues were adapted
Learning Discussion Skills Through Games
Gene and Barbara Dodds Stanford
Citation Press / Scholastic Books 1969
Students are seated in a circle with the teacher
standing outside the group. The
teacher gives the following explanation:
"Today we are going to play another game that will
help improve your discussion skills.
Each of the pieces of paper I am holding contains one clue that
will help you solve a mystery.
If you put all the facts together, you will be able to solve the
mystery. Any time you think you know the answers and the group agrees on
the guess, you may tell me. I
will only tell you whether all five answers are right or wrong.
If parts of your answers are incorrect, I will not tell you which
answers are wrong.
You may organize yourselves in any way you like.
You may not, however, pass your clues around or show them to
anyone else, and you may not leave your seats to walk around the group.
All sharing of clues and ideas must be done verbally.