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Home Classroom Resources Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan

What's in a Mystery? Exploring and Identifying Mystery Elements

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Eight 45- to 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Betsy Brindza

Shaker Heights, Ohio


International Literacy Association


Lesson Plans

Calendar Activities

Podcast Episodes



Grades   5 – 9  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick: Using Illustrations to Guide Writing

Students use illustrations from The Mysteries of Harris Burdick as a guide to write mysteries
and then present their stories to the class for students to discuss to which illustration each
story corresponds.


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Grades   3 – 8  |  Calendar Activity  |  February 3

In 1927, Joan Lowery Nixon was born.

As a class, a genre study of mysteries takes place and a chart is made about what makes a good mystery.


Grades   3 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  April 28

Author Lois Duncan was born on this date in 1934.

Mysteries are shared with students for them to solve and brainstorm the attributes of a good mystery. Small groups then compose short mysteries using the Mystery Cube.


Grades   9 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  September 29

Scotland Yard was established this day in 1829.

Students explore the resources on the Scotland Yard website and compare the advice given to London's citizens to the advice available from the local police department.


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Grades   K – 7  |  Podcast Episode

Dynamic Detectives

Get on the case with these tales about extraordinary detectives! Listen in as Emily highlights untraditional mysteries for kids.


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