Start of our Mystery Unit!

We've ended Non-fiction in RW and have moved into mysteries. I welcome the change. It's nice to get back into the narrative elements with a specific genre. We did a really fun launch involving donuts- more on that in another post. But we also got to start a new read aloud! Non-ficiton read alouds were a bit tough on me. I'm glad to get back to a story with a plot (although our final non-fiction was more narrative and they kids and I loved it)!

We started with a fun and easy to follow mystery to set us up for success. I chose a Jigsaw Jones book after my mentor suggested it. I didn't have the first one, so I just picked up a different one- I would have liked to use the first one in the series, but we are getting by just fine.

One thing I learned in our PD on this unit is to map out the events. Duh.. why haven't I done this from day 1 in our read aloud?!? It's a great tool in terms of determining important events, and let's a do a quick retell of what has happened so far! I've add a bit more to it as well to make it even more helpful for my students.


My kids (and teammates) know my love of post-its. And so they noticed when I brought in these big sticky notes and made comments on how much I must like them. They are so right! We have mapped out important information so far that has happened in our book and we are making a timeline of events. This is great because we can always go back and remove ones that turned out not to be super important to hold on to. The different colors are due to the chapters. I switched between the red and the blue so that we could go back to the chapter if needed.

We plotted and marked what the actual mystery is in the book (very easy to identify, as it was the first sentence, "My frog is missing," croaked Stringbean.)

Each post it has about 1 sentence or note about an important event from that chapter. I started too add some of our extra noticings or inferences with yellow post-its next to the events that we though up about.

I'm really liking this visual and plan to use it throughout the whole mystery unit and beyond. It will work AMAZING for our next unit as well- biographies.

Not to mention, my love of post-its will be in full force, which is always a bonus!



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