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Step 1. Learn about mysteries.

Santa’s elves want to make sure that you know the proper format for mystery writing, so they have requested that you do some research before you write your story.

The following sites will provide you with information on basic elements of mysteries. Print out the research guide (Microsoft Word document) to help you gather and organize the information you find.

Mystery Vocabulary - http://www.mysterynet.com/learn/lessonplans/vocab.worksheet.shtml
Elements of a Mystery - http://www.teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/mystery/tips.htm

After you have read through the information on both sites, take a quick quiz to test your knowledge of mysteries.


Step 2. Solve a mini-mystery.

The next site contains mini-mysteries that you can read and try to solve. As you read the mystery, try to identify the elements of mysteries that you learned about in the first two sites.

Your teacher will assign you to a team of four investigators. Each of you will need to select a job:

Reader - the reader will read the mystery to the group,
Recorder - the recorder will write answers on the worksheet
Reporter - the reporter will report the information to the class
Checker - the checker will make sure the information is correct

Print out the Solving Mysteries Group Worksheet - http://www.mysterynet.com/learn/lessonplans/solving.worksheet.shtml

Click below and read the mini-mystery of the week. Fill out the Solving Mysteries worksheet that you printed as you read the story. You will share your process and results with the class when you are finished.

Read the MysteryNet’s Kids Mysteries – Solve-it Mystery of the Week
http://kids.mysterynet.com/solveit/


Step 3. Write your Christmas mystery.

Now that you know the elements that make up a good mini-mystery and you know how to solve them, it is time to write your story for Santa’s book.

Print the story guide (Microsoft Word document) to help in the planning of your story, or create your own using Inspiration software.

After you have completed the story guide, write your story. Follow the same format as the Solve-it story, with the answer to the mystery being a separate page. Be sure to include the title of the story and your name. Make sure that your story has an interesting beginning, contains a sleuth and suspects, and has a clue that will allow your reader to solve the mystery. Also, make sure that in your solution you explain the evidence that points to the culprit. Be sure to go through all the steps in the writing process.


Step 4. Put your mystery into multimedia form.

Using HyperStudio or PowerPoint, create a multimedia version of your Christmas mystery for Santa. Make sure that you include a title page with your name, pages for the story, and a separate page with the solution to the mystery. Your presentation should include graphics, sound, and animation that enhance the story.

The following sites contain graphics, sounds, and animations that you can use in your projects. Make sure that you give credit to any sources you use.

Kid’s Domain Christmas Clipart
http://www.kidsdomain.com/holiday/xmas/clip.html

Jo' World - has lots of animated gifs, but be sure to turn your sound off as the site has some annoying music playing on each page
http://www.requiem.net/jograham/xmasindx.htm

Pics4Learning
http://pics.tech4learning.com/

Awesome Clipart for Kids
http://www.awesomeclipartforkids.com/