Engage your Students with Solve the Mystery Activities
I’m so excited to share with you how we have been reviewing skills in first grade with our Solve the Mystery Task Card Activities. These fun and engaging activities will keep your students excited about learning and hold their attention the entire time.
Here’s How You Play the Solve the Mystery Activities
Each classroom mystery activity begins with a video I have created. The video is short, about a minute. The video introduces the problem to the children and asks for their help to solve the mystery. There are three underlying questions the students will need to find out, who, when, and where. I created a fun display that I keep up in my classroom at all times. I put it on a pocket chart so I can turn the cards around when we finish them to find out who, when, and where, in the end.
Let’s Get it Prepped!
Next, you will need to split your students into groups. They could do this independently but I think it works better in groups. I have 24 students so I do 8 groups of 3. I like to split them up with varying ability levels to make it fair, and so all groups have support.
Once the video has played and they know what mystery they need to solve, I go over the task cards on the SMART board. Going over their tasks, eliminates questions during the activity. After they know what to do, I set them loose. At the bottom of their packet, I write a number. This is the number of the task they need to go to first. I included signs to display around the room so they can find each task card easily. I print 3 of each card in case multiple groups need to work on a task.
What Does the Teacher Do?
They are busy working for about an hour. The first time we completed one, I was surprised by how long it took. Now I plan for about an hour and a half total. While they work, I sit up front with the clues. Once they complete a task, they bring it up to me and I check it using the answer key. If it is right, they get the clue. At the bottom of each page, they glue their clue in their packet.
Once they have all of their clues, they can solve the mystery. Through process of elimination, they can cross them off to find out the who, the when, and the where. As a fun culmination to the activity, you can print headbands for the winners, or use the certificates included.
I am in the process of creating several versions of these Solve the Mystery Activities. I currently have them for first and second grade but I’m looking into expanding into other grades. My husband has created them for his 6th and 7th grade math class as well.
I’m Megan, a first grade teacher and a mother to 7 amazing children. I love to create and collaborate with teachers. When I’m not teaching, I love spending time with my family, baking and playing tennis.