Clue by Clue: Murder of a Millionaire is one of my favorite mystery activities. An original, Agatha Christie-style murder, Murder of a Millionaire has students going through 22 clues to try to figure out who killed a buisnessman at his country estate in the middle of the night. His wife, who found out he was cheating on her? The secretive maid? His own buisiness partner? Students are given all the clues to figure it out.
Clue by Clues are fun mystery games I came up with to share my love of solving mysteries with my classes. Students work in small groups to solve a puzzle. The catch is that they are given each clue one at a time. This slows down the mystery solving process, meaning students spend more time discussing each clue and revising their theories. That means more time using critical thinking skills. It also means more talking time as students discuss the importance of each clue, reevaluate their previous ideas, and try to persuade others of their point of view.
Each Clue by Clue is solvable and the clues are carefully written to lead students down the path to the answer by eliminating alternative theories. There are also hint questions that teachers can give to students.
Clue by Clues make great warm-up activities, fillers, or time killers for those last minutes of class and early finishers. They can be critical reading activities that teach students to read closely for details, synthesize information from different sources, apply prior knowledge about the world, and to recognize the logic of a claim and evaluate its validity.
They are also a lot of fun!
While students are solving the mysteries they are also developing their spoken language skills, such as:
* Modal verbs of speculation: She must have forgotten her keys, It could have been the butler
* Opinion language: I think…., I’m positive…, I’m not sure…
* Hedging: It’s possible, probably, maybe, it’s not impossible.
* Conclusions: That means that…
* Emphasis: There’s no way that…
* Hypotheticals: What if he didn’t do it, If he was at the movies, he couldn’t have done it.
You can download and purchase Clue by Clue: Murder of a Millionaire at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. And check out my ever-growing section of mystery activities and lesson plans for other classroom resources!