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mrsmcd2 01-31-2018 04:09 PM

Mystery unit?
I am trying to plan a mystery unit to help teach lit standards..plan is minilesson on comp skill/strategy then kids read their leveled book to practice skill.
Does anyone have any good mystery book suggestions? I have an Andrew Clements book, Sammy Keyes possibly, and A to Z mystery for lower level kids. Still looking. Any great ones that I am missing? I have some funds available to order text sets and want to start with
Mystery, then historical fiction. Would love any suggestions!

SassyTeach 01-31-2018 07:25 PM

Some ideas
I put a code next to each one for Low, Average, High.

I have a variety books that I offer my kids during my mystery unit:

(H)Out of the Deep (a national park series by Skurzynski and Ferguson)
(A)Mystery of the Dark Lighthouse
(A-H)The Chameleon Wore Chartreuse
(H)The Dollhouse Murders (a little on the creepy side, but the kids that read it seem to love it)
(L) Who Stole the Wizard of Oz?
(A) The Missing Manatee
(L) Bunnicula
(H) The Mysterious Benedict Society
(H) Chasing Vermeer
(L-A) The Ballpark Mystery Series (I think The Fenway Foul-up is the first one.)

A couple that I use for historical fiction:
(H) Joshua's Song (I SO love this book!! You will need to teach a lot of history for this one.)
(LA-A) Riding Freedom

(I know I should have underlined the book titles, but I was too lazy. Sorry!)

Linda/OH 02-02-2018 04:08 PM

Mystery unit
I've used Boxcar Children, Bunnicula, Sammy Keyes, Encyclopedia Brown, A to Z, and Meg Mackintosh.

There's also a cool unit put together by Beth Newingham. It could still be in the archives since I don't believe she's teaching now.

kahluablast 02-02-2018 05:58 PM


cool unit put together by Beth Newingham.
. She has a free mystery unit on Scholastic.

1956BD 02-03-2018 10:51 PM

Historical Fiction
The Cabin Faced West (very easy)
Little House in the Big Woods
Trouble River
Caddie Woodlawn
Hatti and The Big Sky
Mr. Tucket
The Birch Bark House
The Sign of the Beaver

These are all about American pioneers so they are loosely connected in time period and setting. You may be able to make some social studies connections.

1956BD 02-04-2018 01:10 PM

Picture Book Mysteries
Picture book mysteries are a great way to teach the class mini lessons on this genre and the traits of a mystery. Here are some that I have used with my students in the past as read aloud lessons.

Grandpa's Teeth by Clement (This was is funny and very entertaining.)

Mystery on the Docks by Thatcher Hurd

Piggins by Jane Yolen

The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg

The Wretched Stone by Chris Van Allsburg (This one is also a cautionary tale about watching too much television :D)

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick collected by Chris Van Allsburg (These are just pictures with captions. Allsbur wrote the captions. You can use them as writing prompts so your students can write their own mystery. This is also fun to use around Halloween)

The Web Files by Margie Palatini (very short and simple)

Private I Guana by Nina laden(This one is my favorite. Unfortunately it is out of print and hard to find. If your school is older there may be a copy for you to use. It is a mystery and also is filled with many play on words which makes it fun and more challenging as a read aloud. You can listen to it on Storylineonline)

Mystery at the Club Sandwich by Doug Cushman

1956BD 02-04-2018 01:45 PM


1956BD 02-04-2018 01:46 PM

Mystery Vocabulary?

1956BD 02-04-2018 01:48 PM

Mystery Elements?

1956BD 02-04-2018 01:51 PM

Mystery Website with tasks?

1956BD 02-04-2018 02:08 PM

Timeline Creation For historical fiction?

1956BD 02-04-2018 02:15 PM

Historical Fiction Book setting in your state

This may be a little advanced. The school where I taught used it in fifth grade but maybe for your high group.

1956BD 02-04-2018 02:17 PM

Cam Jansen Series
might work well for some of your struggling readers in the mystery unit.

1956BD 02-04-2018 02:37 PM

Historical Fiction resource

mrsmcd2 02-06-2018 04:04 PM

Wow thank you all so much!! The picture books will be a great addition to the unit. I plan to do minilessons and then have 3 different "book clubs" going on to practice the skills from the minilesson. These are all great suggestions!

mrsmcd2 02-06-2018 05:21 PM

Sammy Keyes
I read only a few pages of The Hotel Thief..Is this series appropriate for a 4th grader? Did you find the content mature at all? Everything I read says it is a good series for jr high kids. I also saw 9-13 so just curious!

Linda/OH 02-07-2018 02:58 AM

Sammy Keyes and Hotel Thief is ok for 4th. I used it for my advanced readers since it's about level R. I did my mystery unit in the fall.

mrsmcd2 02-07-2018 04:03 PM

Thank you!
Thanks! Ordered it.

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