One of the best parts about reading a mystery is the suspense, anticipation, and excitement as the story unfolds. Whether you’re reading with many younger sleuths or amplifying intrigue with YA readers, the resources on TeachingBooks can help build interest. Use the examples below to jumpstart students’ thinking about any mystery, even before they’ve started reading.
Madame Badobedah by Sophie Dahl (PK-2)
- Display the book cover puzzle and ask students to predict what the story might be about. What in the picture could be a clue?
- Use the word search to expand on the clues you found in the book cover. What additional predictions can students make?
- Read the Google Preview pages to start investigating the mystery. Why does Mabel think Madame Badobedah is a villain?
- Practice spy skills with the Spot the Difference page in this activity kit from the publisher.
- Share the Mystery Lesson and have students fill in responses.
Get ready to read!
Mac Undercover by Mac Barnett (1-5)
- Ask students to predict words they expect to encounter in the book based on the cover, then complete the word search and see if their predictions are true.
- Watch the book trailer together and write down important clues.
- Listen to the Meet-the-Author Recording and ask students to make a list of characters.
- Share the Mystery Lesson and have students fill in what they already know.
- Listen to the audio excerpt and then add to the Mystery Lesson.
- Read the Google Preview. What else can students add to the Mystery Lesson?
Now let’s open the book!
Charlie Thorn and the Last Equation by Stuart Gibbs (4-8)
- Start by watching the book trailer. Ask students to predict what the story might be about.
- Then, as a class, listen to the Meet-the-Author Recording. What hints about the story do you get from the author?
- Scan the vocabulary list. Have students choose three words that capture their attention.
- Open the Mystery Lesson. What can students fill in already using what they’ve learned from TeachingBooks resources?
- Then listen to this audio excerpt and have students add to the answers in the Mystery Lesson.
Hand out the books and start reading!
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley (7-12)
- Watch the book trailer, then have students make a prediction about what will happen in the book.
- Read the letter from the author on page 5 of this book club kit.
- Listen to the Ojibwe and English bilingual language samples from Ojibwe.net and ask students to think about what the phrases might mean for the story.
- Share the selection of author interviews. Students can choose one and then share what they learn about the book and author.
- Start filling in the Mystery Lesson.
- Open the vocabulary list and have students scan the words for the first section. Are there any that are unfamiliar? Check the definitions.
Ready to read?
What’s working for you?
We’d love to hear how you’re using TeachingBooks resources in your classrooms and libraries! Leave your ideas in a comment below.