English Advantage

Lesson plans, activities and resources for teaching and learning English.

Clue by Clue Murder of a Millionaire

Clue by Clue Murder of a Millionaire
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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!

Clue by Clue Mystery Bundle

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This bundle contains 6 of my Clue by Clue Mystery Activities. What is a Clue by Clue Mystery? It’s a great warm-up, filler, or time killer for early finishers. Students are given a mystery to solve–whodunit or how did they do it or why. They have to figure it out by reading a series of clues, one at a time. As they receive each clue, they speculate on its significance and what it tells them about the situation.

Once they have received all the clues, they should have enough information to figure it out!

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.

Teacher Notes are included with hints and the solution along with a students sheet that contains the clues for you to copy and cut-up.

The activities included (with previews for each one) are:
The Elevator Routine

Imprisoned!

Guess the Motive

Murder of a Millionaire

Empty Bank

The Perfect Crime

And the Reading a Mystery Organizer Worksheet

And check out my ever-growing section of mystery activities and lesson plans for other classroom resources!

Clue by Clue: The Perfect Murder

Perfect Crime
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Clue by Clue: The Perfect Murder asks students to solve the mystery of how a woman killed her husband. But once they know how she did it, they are confronted with the question: Did she commit a crime? This is a fun activity that raises a good discussion after students solve it, based on one of my favorite episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

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: The Perfect Murder at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. And check out my ever-growing section of mystery activities and lesson plans for other classroom resources!

Clue by Clue: Guess the Motive

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Clue by Clue: Guess the Motive asks students to solve a murder mystery with no apparent motive. But there’s more than meets the eye. This mystery, based on a classic premise, requires students to think carefully and put together information from a variety of clues.

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: Guess the Motive at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. And check out my ever-growing section of mystery activities and lesson plans for other classroom resources!

Mystery Worksheet

Worksheet
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I love teaching mysteries to my English students. The best mysteries are complicated and involve close reading and holding a lot of details in your head at once. So I designed this worksheet that students can fill in as they read a mystery or suspense story. It’s designed to help them solve the mystery by finding all the clues and suspects and then analyzing them. At the same time, it teaches important reading skills such as reading for details, evaluating information from different parts of a reading, critical analysis, reading for an unreliable narrator/character and of course reading for fun

As students read, they can fill in the sheet. Post-reading they can share their worksheets, consult with each other, and revise or add to what they have done. If the mystery is well-written, they should be able to say Who did it? by the end of class!

You can find short mystery games to read with these mysteries in the Mystery section of my store.

How to Fill It Out
At the top they can write the crime (Bob was killed with a knife) and the victim (Bob)

Clues
Next, they can list all the clues, including what exactly the clue is (the knife found next to the body), why it is important (it had no blood on it, it was from the house next door) and which character the clue points to or doesn’t point to (Mr. Thompson lives next door and likes to clean things).

Suspects
In the third part of the worksheet, students should write all the suspects, including their potential motive for committing the crime (jealousy, money), their alibi (at the movies). and other reasons why we might or might not suspect them (He gets angry quickly) . Finally, there’s a space to write any other important information (He has a red ring). This is a good place for students to note something the author emphasizes about the character, although it make no sense at the time.

Whodunit?
Finally, the students can write who did it, how they did it, why? and any leftover questions. It’s always good to let students think about loose ends and the plausibility of the story.

If you like this resource, check out my ever-growing section of mystery activities and lesson plans for other classroom resources!

Clue by Clue Elevator Routine

Elevator
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Clue by Clue: The Elevator Routine is a sort of puzzle mystery, based on a classic logic puzzle. A woman comes home to her apartment building every day after work. She lives on the 20th floor, so why does she get off at the 15th floor and walk 5 floors up to her apartment?

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: The Elevator Routine at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. And check out my ever-growing section of mystery activities and lesson plans for other classroom resources!

Clue by Clue Imprisoned

Prison
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Clue by Clue: Imprisoned is a sort of puzzle mystery, based on a true News of the Weird item. A woman robs a store and speeds away. Soon a policeman is on her tail, but somehow she ends up in prison before she is even arrested. How could that be?

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: Imprisoned at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. And check out my ever-growing section of mystery activities and lesson plans for other classroom resources!