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Lesson Plan

Everyone Loves a Mystery: A Genre Study

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Everyone Loves a Mystery: A Genre Study

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Twenty sessions, each 60 minutes
Lesson Author

Che-Mai Gray

Marysville, Washington


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Students examine story elements and vocabulary associated with mystery stories through Directed Learning–Thinking Activities and then track these features as they read mystery books from the school or classroom library. Several activities at the Millennium Mystery Madness website, plus a story map project, add to their understanding and appreciation of the mystery genre. Students plan their own original mystery stories with the help of the interactive Mystery Cube, peer edit and revise their stories, and publish them online.

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Millennium Mystery Madness:This student-created website offers a history of the mystery genre, elements of a mystery, a scavenger hunt, and more.

Mystery Cube: Use this tool to help your students sort out the clues in their favorite mysteries or develop outlines for their own stories.

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Richards, P.O., Thatcher, D.H., Shreeves, M., Timmons, P., & Barker, S. (1999). Don't let a good scare frighten you: Choosing and using quality chillers to promote reading. The Reading Teacher, 52(8), 830–840.

  • Students are able to actively participate in mysteries and scary stories in ways they cannot with other media.

  • Students choose to read mysteries for entertainment and enjoyment. Therefore, mysteries may provide the best opportunities for literature study.

  • Literary elements such as character, setting, plot, point of view, theme, and tone can be examined and discussed.

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