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Theme - Detective/Mystery Theme

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Great ideas to use with your Detective or Mystery theme.
detective theme
Posted by:chris #66593

Just a few notes from the top of my head...

1. For behavior, you could have them move different levels of detectives - for example from novice to super sleuth! Super sleuths would earn more money. Or they could get different numbers of stars on a badge to show how high up in rank they are.

2. I just bought a bulletin board border with a detective theme. I can let you know the company if you want.

3. Start the year with autobiographies and leave the names off and have them solve the mystery of who is being described. You could have them secretly bring in baby pictures to add a clue to the puzzle.

4. My second graders love the Bailey School Kids, Cam Jansen, and Jigsaw Jones mysteries also.

5. They could come up with detective agency names for the groups that they are seated...

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Classroom Preparations
Posted by:Jacki #45841

In my 3rd grade classroom, I always use a theme, too. This year, my main slogan is "Be Like a Detective in School!" I made a large Sherlock Holmes style detective with "mini" posters to go around it..each with graphics and phrases such as: Be observant! Take Notes! Build your skills! Make calculations! Solve Puzzles! Look for clues! Search for answers!, etc. On the hallway door, I have printed a large magnifying glass that reads "Welcome to our 3rd Grade Class...Our mission is to conquer new knowledge!". On the first day of school, I take each child's picture and print it on a desk tag. This year, the desk tags will say: This is the desk of Detective "John Doe", with a badge showing their student number (I always number my kids!), and their pictures. I put these on the desks with clear contact...

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Mystery Theme
Posted by:christine #139820

I am also going with this theme. Since I am a new teacher to the school, I have been referred to as the mystery teacher, and in my summer letter I have asked the kids to make mystery bags (the idea was on this site) to bring to school the first day. I am going to call the bb with rules, procedures, etc "Classroom Clues". Where did you get the door display, or did you make it yourself. Unfortunately I am not that artistic. For a library, you could call it "Searching For a Good Book" or "Reading Slueths". Do you have a jobs chart? I am thinking of either only having 2 helpers a week and calling them Lil slueths, or coming up with some sort of magnifying glass, etc to use as the job chart. Please share any other ideas you may have for this theme, as I...

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when I did
Posted by:Nat #139821

my mystery unit I had traced my foot on black bristol board like 100 times. I cut them out and placed them in the room it looked cool =o)

I had some do not cross police tape... that you buy at halloween.


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Be Like A Detective...
Posted by:JKB #116257

Through the course of my teaching years, I have used a variety of themes, but my all time favorite was "Be Like A Detective In School". I made a huge Detective with a magnifying glass. Then, I had signs around him such as: Observe, Take Notes, Listen, Research, Think, Look for Clues, READ-READ-READ, etc.

Hope this is helpful! JKB:s)

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Posted by:jose #66689

Have your kids make their own finger prints with pencil and tape on white paper. This is done by taking a pencil and makinf a 1 inch square and color it in with a pencil, making it dark. Them have them to rub one finger at a time to get the pencil led on their finger. Then take a piece of tape, put on the finger making the print (be sure not to move around on finger) and remove and place on a piece of paper. They can do one finger or all fingers depending on what you want to use it for. I teach high school spec ed and my kids have difficulty reading but they love finding patterns and they loved this. I then made a weekly game where each one won something. I would take a finger print and place it on the most wanted for good behavior poster and they could...

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creative sleuths
Posted by:Heather #75483

The fingerprinting program that Jose referred to is from GEMS Guides. There is a whodunnit type unit with fingerprinting, chromatography, and other crime lab activities. GEMS Guides are really great resources for science and math units. I'm not sure of the website, but you can search for GEMS Guides and it should come up. They are put together by Lawrence Hall of Science at Univ. of Cali. at Berkeley.

For your management system, you could have a detective (Scotland Yard style). The students earn footprints to make their way toward the reward or clue (whatever you did this year). You could have detective dollars to reward them. You could also make them collect a certain number of clues to earn the detective dollars (reward money). They could collect fingerprints, evidence, magnifying glass, ransom letter, etc (like from the game CLUE).

I hope this helps!

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Mystery Bags
Posted by:RamonaQ #115492

We give students Mystery Bags to fill with 3 items that tell us about themselves. We give the Mystery Bags out at Open House, which is before the first day of school, and the students bring them back on the first day or sometime during the first week. During the first week, students share one item with the whole group and the other two items in groups. Then I clear off space on a long rectangular table and we make a Me Museum. The students write about their items on an index card put them on display on the table for the whole first week.

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Clue Theme
Posted by:Krissy4th #124750

What a fun theme idea! How about...

*Ceiling Decorations: Make giant questions marks of different color to hang from the ceiling. Student could each decorate them the first few days of school all about themselves.

*Nametags: Make student nametags that are magnifying glasses, cut out a circular photo of students and glue in the center of the magnifying glass.

*Star of the Week: Have students fill out a questionairre the first week of school. Choose a different "Mystery Person" star of the week every week. Each day, reveal one clue about the person. On Friday, reveal who it was.

*AR Goals: If you do AR reading, you could make a large bulletin board for goals with the title "Hot on the case toward on goals!" Give each student a detective to color and move throughout the board. You could do a green...

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Detective theme
Posted by:Mrs. G #140688

You could have a welcoming board that says "Search and See Who is in Mrs. G's Class. Put all of their names on fingerprints, detective hats, or magnifying glasses.

Another bulletin board title could be "Who Dunit?" This could be used to display student work.

"Seeking Good Behavior" could be used for your classroom management system.

Classroom Library could have "Clues for Finding a Good Book" or "Inspect a Good Book"

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Posted by:Suzanne #75674

I bought little Magnifying glasses from the party store. I give my students a check list spelling, capitals, punctuation, etc. They need to use their Magnifying glass and be detectives checking only one item at a time. They really love doing this and it was amazing to see how much it really helped them to focus on the task. Hope it helps!

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Posted by:1956BD #141396

I teach the mystery genre at the beginning of the year to my third graders. I got a lot of ideas from Beth Newingham's website. I discuss with my students how many times a detective looks at the clues to sove the crime or mystery. I use this analogy with the students all year when teaching them to read for information. It drives home the point of reading and rereading until you find the information you need in the text to answer the question. I say, "Remember to be a good detective! Keep searching for all the clues until you find them."

This year we ordered plastict fedora hats for the kids.(one class set to share among 5 classes) We are going to allow them to use the science magnifying glasses and wear the hats during reading in the mystery unit. We also bought two used trench coats so we...

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Special Agent Theme
Posted by:book lover #139902

At the beginning of the school year, before school actually began, I sent home a welcome letter to all of my students. I started the letter with "Dear Future Special Agent and family, Welcome to 4th grade where you will be investigating our world by asking questions and seeking answers! You are about to enter a training force of student special agents where your mission will be to try your best in all that you do. Your term of membership lasts one year. Your hard work and dedication will add to the success of the special agent task force. Welcome and good luck!" I then went on to invite them to a "Recruitment Briefing" before school began at the "Special Agent Headquarters." I provided a cipher card where I used wingdings font and matched the symbols with the letters of the alphabet and provided them...

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mystery theme
Posted by:muss15 #141397

I teach fourth grade and I've done a mystery theme and it always lasted all year. I place the students into cooperative groups of four (Detectives, Witnesses, Policemen, Inspectors). They design a logo for the group and I display it on a bulletin board, which accompanies my cooperative group behavior plan. I cut up each letter of the word cooperate and if groups are working together I add points to the group, if they are not cooperating I take a letter(s) away. Each letter is worth 10 points. I tally points at the end of each week.

We read the mystery book The Westing Game (the kids absolutely love this book) and finish the year with studying a mystery unit, which includes writing a mystery.

My math mystery bulletin board read "Super Sleuths" and all year we talked about solving the mystery of word problems.

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