Genre Study: Mystery

Genre Study Unit 1: Mystery

Big Idea/Essential Questions:

  1. How do the essential elements of a mystery affect its quality?
  2. How is mystery unique as a genre?
  3. How do great mystery writers hook and hold their readers?

Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • I can identify and recognize the key characteristics of the mystery genre both through class discussions and by listening to and reading mysteries.
  • I can apply the information and terminology I have learned about mysteries using a graphic organizer to create my own mystery story outline.
  • I can synthesize my knowledge about mystery stories by using the graphic organizers to write a mystery story that incorporates the key characteristics I have discussed with my classmates.
  • I can practice working collaboratively and using my analytic skills by editing others’ work.
  • I can practice revising my own writing using peer feedback.

Key Vocabulary:

characters        clues         distractions

plot         setting         structure


alibi        breakthrough         clue

crime         deduction         detective

evidence         hunch         motive         mystery         red herring

sleuth         suspect         witness

Additional Attached Resources:

The 39 Clues – Various Authors

Cam Jansen Mysteries – David Adler

Mystery Net’s Kids’ Mysteries

The Boxcar Children – Gertrude Ann Warner

Jigsaw Jones – James Preller

Encyclopedia Brown – Donald J. Sobol

Nancy Drew: Codes and Clues


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