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A Chapter Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Welcome to this Lesson!

Launch your own Murder Mystery

an organized discovery of an original crime scene

This lesson was developed for WritingFix after being proposed by NNWP Teacher Consultant Erica Pienkowski at an AT&T-sponsored in-service class for teachers.

The Mentor Text:

In chapters 3 and 4 of The Westing Game smoke rises from the chimney and a murder mystery begins. Can your writers launch their own murder mystery?

This is a writer's notebook-friendly lesson! This lesson has been recently revised to incorporate the creation of a writer's notebook page as part of the pre-writing process. A teacher model of the notebook page can be seen at left. Click on the image at left to see a full-page, printable version of the writer's notebook page inspired by this newly revised lesson. You can visit WritingFix's Writer's Notebook Resources Homepage to access more lessons and prompts revised to inspire effective modeling of writer's notebooks for our student writers.

A great classroom resource!

Three-Sentence Overview of this Lesson:

This activity is based on Ellen Raskin’s novel, The Westing Game, and student writers will be asked to write a murder mystery, choosing the victim, murder weapon and the suspect.  The assignment asks them to write a story about the murder for their reader, giving clues through the story for the reader to solve as they are reading the story.  Students are encouraged to use descriptive words that help to paint the picture for the reader. Teachers: click here to read the entire lesson plan.

6-Trait Overview for this Lesson:

The focus trait in this writing assignment is idea development; the writer’s goal is to create an original murder mystery scene that intrigues the reader to know the entire story.  The support trait in this assignment is organization; students will use lesson's graphic organizer to help them plan a scene that contains purposeful paragraphs and sections.

WritingFix Homepage Lesson & 6-Trait Overview   Student Instructions
Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources  Student Writing Samples

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