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Mystery Cube

 

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Mystery Cube

Grades 3 – 8
Tech Requirement
URL http://www.readwritethink.org
/files/resources/interactives
/cube_creator/

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Why Use This Tool

Here’s What To Do

More Ideas To Try

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Why Use This Tool

Everyone loves a good mystery, but what makes a mystery story work? Most mysteries follow a formula: There’s a crime or mystery, someone who’s trying to figure it out, clues along the way, and finally, a solution. This activity asks children to separate a mystery into its distinct elements, like ingredients in a recipe. By listing the elements—one on each side of a cube—children will begin to see how a writer constructs a mystery. They can even use the cube to cook up some mysteries of their own!

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Here’s What To Do

Children will use the online tool to identify the setting, the crime or mystery that occurs, the detective, the victim, the clues, and the solution. The cube template can be printed, cut out, folded, and taped together to form a cube (see sample). A planning sheet is available to help children prepare for the online exercise.

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More Ideas To Try

  • During a vacation or field trip, enlist children as detectives who should look out for anything unusual. When they spot something—like a limousine waiting outside a fast food restaurant—ask them to use it as inspiration for a mystery story.
  • When watching a mysterious movie, stop at key points so children can identify elements on the mystery cube. After the movie, discuss what they did or didn’t like. How would they change the setting or clues if it were their movie?
  • In a mystery, someone attempts to use clues and reasoning to answer a question. Ask children for other occasions when those same strategies are employed to answer questions or solve problems. This can include their own experiences as well as inquisitive professions, such as research science, journalism, or cooking in a test kitchen.

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