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Mystery Genre Project
Transcript of Mystery Genre Project
A story in which a detective solves a crime.
-Crime: not necessary a law that has been broken.
Emphasis of the story may be on:
-The “puzzle” element (coming up with a logical solution to a problem)
-Finding out who committed the crime (whodunit)
-The action of the story
-Gritty realness of a story
What I have gathered: Any story with a prolonged question driving the plot, may be categorized in the “mystery” genre. Importance of the mystery genre in classroom setting 4 areas: Great way for getting students to analyze characters because every character is so complex Higher level of analysis - the better you are at noticing "underlying issues" rather than just "surface" stuff, the better observer/evaluator you are
Critical thinking allows the reader to connect ties and see the bigger picture of the story through textual evidence
Helps to overcome forms of deception Plot Structure Character Analysis What thought processes
as you have read mystery
novels in the past? Critical Thinking YA Mystery is a great time to teach plot structure, as it commonly follows the basic plot structure.•Exposition•Rising Action•Climax•Falling Action Deductive Reasoning Character Analysis Plot Structure Critical Thinking Mystery books spark: •Active reading strategies:
•Forming a hypothesis
•Use of logic and personal experience in order to make predictions Students will often use these reading strategies without meaning to because they are a natural reaction to students’ curiosity and interest. What problem solving strategies did the video clip demonstrate? Video Clip: •The use of questioning
•Considering and building upon previous clues
•Logic and previous experiences to make guesses/form a hypothesis Has each student looking at the
-Philosophical Example: The Westing Game Sixteen heirs who are mysteriously chosen to live in the Sunset Towers apartment building on the shore of Lake Michigan, somewhere in Wisconsin, come together to hear the will of the self-made millionaire, Samuel W. Westing. The will takes the form of a puzzle, dividing the sixteen heirs into eight pairs, giving each pair a different set of clues which consist of almost all of the lyrics from "America The Beautiful", and challenging them to solve the mystery of who murdered Sam Westing. As an incentive, each heir is given $10,000 to play the game. Whoever solves the mystery will inherit Sam Westing's $200 million fortune, and his company, Westing Paper Products. The Reader -close reading
-very observant Activities -graphic organizers
-make your own mystery--teacher or student •Some novels don’t follow a linear timeline (like The Book Thief) and trying to piece the parts together make it a mystery in itself. •Plot Structure can be taught use story skeletons
-Can focus on separate elements of the plot and how to identify them.
-Using story skeletons can lead into student’s creating their own stories, and be integrated with writing lessons. The Case of the Left-Handed Lady The Crime Classics! How did it all start?
-Edgar Allen Poe
“The Father of Mystery”
-1841: "The Murders in the Rue Morgue."
-First to shift focus of mystery stories from the aesthetics of the situation to a more realistic situation
-Nancy Drew Young Adult Mystery Story aimed at a teenage audience
Hero detective generally the same age or slightly older than the reader
Criminals are generally less violent—but just as scary—as those in adult mysteries
Enola Holmes Mysteries by Nancy Springer (The “much” younger sister of Sherlock Holmes)
-The Westing Game
Echo Falls Mysteries: Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abraham Why Choose Mystery? High interest material
Often read for fun
Spark their interest first, then go deeper into text—analyzing it as you would with any other piece of literature.
Activating Prior Knowledge
Predicting or asking questions
Drawing Inferences Wow, so much academic value! Blurring the Genre Lines Combining to already existing mystery sub genres
Combining elements of mystery genre with another genre
Taking a text that isn’t classified as mystery but finding the smaller “mysteries” within the plot
Find the Mystery!
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Alive in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (one giant mystery??) Blurring the Genre Lines (cont’d) Investigate multi-media options within mystery genre The Mousetrap and Other Plays
By Agatha Christie Not a novel but a book filled with classic mystery plays.
Classic “whodunit” plot
Begins with a murder of a woman in London. Seven people are snowed in together and read about this murder. One of the guests is killed. They quickly realize that the murderer could be among the guests, or the hosts. There is a classic “twist” ending.
Something unique: How the play got its name.
Great for classroom read alouds. Some students can “play” a part in the story, while the rest of the students try to predict what is going to happen. Grade Level: 7-8 and above Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
By Robert Louis Stevenson “With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to the truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two.” –Robert Louis Stevenson
Something useful: This is a mystery story but embedded in the text is a plethora of philosophical/morality lessons.
For example: The most obvious one is that people are made up of both good and evil—that both forces are necessary.
Grade Level: 8 and above The Agency: A Spy in the house Grade Level: 6-8 Summary: “Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, young orphan (and thief) Mary Quinn is surprised to be offered a singular education, instruction in fine manners — and an unusual vocation. Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls is a cover for an all-female investigative unit called The Agency, and at seventeen, Mary is about to put her training to the test” (Goodreads)
Historical context: Victorian London
Attempts to show a reader what it was like for a woman living in England during mid-1800s.
Strong (young) female protagonist
Plot isn’t super complicated
Great for reading strategies The Westing Game
by Ellen Raskin Summary: “When sixteen people are called together for the reading of wealthy Sam Westing's will, they are surprised to learn that the will is actually a contest in which they are all to participate. Working with partners, the potential heirs take their clues to try to find the elusive answer to the Westing game and thus take their shares of the two-hundred-million-dollar prize.”(scholastic)
Different from a classic “crime” mystery
More of game/puzzle format
Lots of characters
Great for character analysis
Grade Level: 6-7 What Happened to Cass McBride?
By Gail Giles Summary: Kyle Kirby has planned a cruel and unusual revenge on Cass McBride, the most popular girl in school, for the death of his brother David. He digs a hole. Drugs Cass. Kidnaps her. Puts her in a box-underground. He buries her alive. But Kyle makes a fatal error: Cass knows the power of words. She uses fear as her weapon to keep her nemesis talking - and to keep herself breath
Combination of realistic fiction and mystery
suitable for YA literature
Tackles heavy adolescent issues
the power of words
Grade Level: 8 and above (graphic content) Shine
by Lauren Myracle Summary: When Patrick falls victim to a hate crime and is found near death at a local gas station, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out in her small town to find out who inflicted such horror on her best friend. While the town sheriff is ready to pin the crime on gay-bashing outsiders, Cat's suspicion lies elsewhere. Fueled by her fury of an old injustice, Cat finds the will to expose the hometown hatred that hurt her best friend.
Touching on "real" issues while retaining classic mystery elements.
Some important issues relevant to this book:
Grade Level: 8 and above Paper Towns
By John Green “Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.” -John Green
Obvious mystery vs. Underlying Mystery A blend of many different genres: ( YA, mystery, romance, humor, adventure, realistic fiction etc.)
Grade Level: 6-8 and above I am the Messenger
By Mark Zusak Summary: Meet Ed Kennedy--underage cabdriver, pathetic cardplayer, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he's hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That's when the first Ace arrives. That's when Ed becomes the messenger. .
Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary), until only one question remains: Who's behind Ed's mission? (scholastic) Modern take on a mystery: He is presented with a questionable mission and must find out "who is behind everything?" and "how it is significant to his life?" Grade Level: 8 and above (inappropriate content) Zusak's amazing knack for manipulating words