The mystery genre is a genre of fiction that follows a crime from the moment it happens until it is solved. Mysteries are sometimes called “whodunnits” because they turn readers into detectives to figure out the who, what, when, and how of a crime. Most mysteries feature a detective or private eye solving a case as the main character.
Learning Goal: I can plan a mystery story.
First, read or listen to the information noted below.
Next, re-watch short Scooby Doo clip Scooby-Doo! One Minute Mysteries | The Menace of the Manticore | WB Kids and review the notes you made about what you saw, heard and felt as you watched. Think about the key elements we discussed in our small reading groups required to create a mystery story:
- A setting
- A mystery to solve
- A list of suspects
- A detective or detectives and the clues!
- A sequence of events
Then, read the short mystery text Mystery at the beach to generate thoughts for writing your own mystery story later this week! Below that you will also find an example plan to show how that story was created.
Mystery at The Beach (story):
Mystery at The Beach (planner):
Finally, using the text and story plan as a guide, draw up a table in your book with the headings setting, problem, suspects, detectives and clues just like the example and start planning your own mystery! Don’t forget to add enough detail to start planning a sequence of events tomorrow.
Example of planner: Mystery Story Planner Monday (2)
Blank planner you can use:
If you need some thought starters, here are some images and phrases to get you planning!
Mystery story thought starters:
- I peeked through the curtains. There was a limo parked outside with two bodyguards. I heard a knock at the door…
- I went over to say hello to the cute little baby under the umbrella, but when I reached her, I saw that…
- We sat around the campfire in eerie silence, nobody wanting to bring up our predicament. Everything was going to have to come out anyway, we might as well get it over with. I was just about to clear my throat when I noticed Sam and Layla standing apart from the group, whispering. What were they plotting now?
- Estella ran down the trail, her dog, Gerard, several feet ahead of her. A gust of wind ripped through the forest and a loud crack on her left caught her attention. She watched the tree fall, then turned back to the trail, but Gerard was gone…
Challenge: Can you plan to include any ‘red herrings’ or twists to throw readers off the track…
Work sample to upload to OneNote: Mystery planning sheet