Friday, June 27, 2014

Miss Scarlett, in the Conservatory, with a Candlestick….

Before the school year ended, I surveyed my upcoming 4th graders to see what genres and topics interest them.  I thought I would use that information to plan for my Language Arts class for next year.  To my surprise, their interests were NOTHING like the students I had this past year.  I was excited because MYSTERIES were overwhelmingly the interest for the majority of the kids.  The results made this teacher very happy!  I love mysteries!  Immediately, I begin thinking about how I can incorporate fiction and nonfiction mysteries next year.  I am still working on this, but I wanted to share with you one of the ideas that I have already in place.  
When I was a kid, the board game Clue was one of my favorite games.  So, this made the wheels start to turn….are there books based on the game? (Yes, I have a class set of The Westing Game, which I love, but I wanted something else.)  I began my Google search and found that in the 90's, there were 18 books written by A.E. Parker that were based on the board game.  To my dismay, the books are no longer in print.  I did find a seller on Ebay that had almost the entire set available.  I purchased most of the books from her and found the remaining books used on Amazon.  I have all 18 books!!!  YAY!!!  

Each book contains 13 short stories/mysteries involving the characters from Clue that we know and love!  Each of the mysteries can stand alone and are about two-three pages in length, which are perfect for daily teacher read alouds.    

So, here is my plan.  I have created a sheet, like the ones that are included with the board game.  I plan to copy these and cut them apart.  The student can use the sheet for four mysteries before needing a new one.  :) While I am reading the mystery aloud, the students will listen and mark off the clues so they can INFER the answer to the mystery.  This will allow for active participation during the read aloud.  After I finish reading the mystery, I plan to have the students work with their "talk partner" to discuss each other's answers and reasoning behind their answers.  I think the kids are going to love this and I am excited because my read alouds are going to be more interactive.  If you are like me, sometimes you wonder if the kids are really listening.  Well, now there will be NO question! :)  I have included the link to the handout I developed if you are interested.  Just click on the image below.  

I have been working on some products and I hope to have them up soon, but while creating, I have become obsessed with a font by Monica Abarca.  It's called Monica's Peaceful Day.  If you will notice, I used it on the the Clue materials.  I just LOVE it!  Monica has several free fonts with very friendly terms of use.  I just had to share and give Ms. Monica a shout-out!  :)  

Happy Friday!  


  1. Thank you for the Shout Out, Nicole! I too loved playing Clue as a young girl. I still have my old board game from when I was younger in my cabinet at school for rainy days (although in Southern California we don't get too many of those ;). I am super excited to see what you have been working on!

  2. This is such a cool activity!! What an awesome way to keep your students involved!! I am so impressed!! You should tape their discussions--I bet they will be great.

  3. This sounds great! I really enjoyed Clue as well and now will be on the search for some books!

  4. This is a GREAT idea!!! Now I have to hunt for the books :) Thanks!