This way-too-fun mystery unit uses the “Stop, Think, Jot” reading strategy to delve into any mystery story.
This expanded version now includes more detailed teacher ideas and an original Kat and Squirrel Mystery Learning Adventure!
Teacher plans as suggestions to ‘how to teach’ the unit
“Detective Academy Training Manual” and completion certificate
Mystery vocabulary – 8 words
Cover sheet to create a “Detective Case File” with your pronged pocket folder
“Case File” papers used to collect jotted observations
“Stop and Jot” notes (or you can use Post-its)
2 styles of book logs
Lists of easy mystery books with Lexile numbers
Link to my Mystery Pinterest page!
Poster with ‘stop and jot’ codes
Bookmarks with ‘stop and jot’ codes are available here:
Goals of the Lesson:
Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.
Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
With prompting and support, read prose and poetry of appropriate complexity for grade 1.
Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories and poetry, in the grades 2-3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Describe characters in a story and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.
Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.
Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.
Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Early Elementary Science Related Mysteries:
Easy-Reading Mystery Classics:
Kat’s Favorite Series: