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    read it with 5th grade
    By mytwocents

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    Hi!
    We read this when I taught 5th grade. I broke the class up into detective 'groups'. They read together and discussed. I worked with those lower readers; the advanced readers were more on their own except for group discussion times. Each group kept 'detective files' where they took notes about each character. This helped them remember a lot! We also made cards with all the 'clue words' we found as we read. It was fun to watch the groups lay all the word cards out and try to figure out what it said...took a while, but finally groups started putting the words together in the song. I tied a lot into the book. To go along with the 'chess theme' I recruited another teacher in the building to play us in a game of chess...the students didn't know who the 'mystery player' was. We made a move a day. They really got into it. It was fun to have a 'revealing' at the end of the game. As a technology link, we made a graphic organizer web on the computer...Sam Westing was in the middle. THey had to link each character to him with a description of how that character 'related' to him.

    It was really a fun book. The kids all loved it. We also watched the movie. It is corny and not nearly as good as the book, but it was a great springboard to compare/contrast. We made Venn diagrams comparing the movie to the book. The kids were very surprised how different they were.

    I think 8th graders would love the book. The nice thing about it is that not many of the kids seemed to have read it before!

    View the original thread this idea was posted on



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