The Topic:
Mystery

Easier - A mystery is something that is difficult to explain or understand. Mysteries are also stories where a problem, crime, or puzzle must be solved.
 
Harder - Mysteries often contain secrets or hidden qualities that must be solved. There may be information that is unknown and must be explained. Professional detectives and sleuths seek out clues to solve mysteries. To solve a mystery, people must use their skills at deductive reasoning.
 
Mysteries are a popular genre of fiction. Many people enjoy reading series of books by the same author. For example, Sherlock Holmes is a classic fictional sleuth.
 
 
Case for Kids
http://www.TheCase.com/kids/
Designed for children and young adults, this site contains mysteries to solve, scary stories, magic tricks, and contests.
More websites for children:
2) Two Minute Mystery Club
http://www.qesn.meq.gouv.qc.ca/cc/2mmsolve/
 
Mystery Books: About.com
http://mysterybooks.about.com/arts/mysterybooks/
This site is a great starting point for locating mystery books and stories as well as author and writing information.
More at the same site:
2) Beginner's Guide to Mystery
http://mysterybooks.about.com/arts/mysterybooks/library/blbeginner.htm
2) Juvenile and Young Adult Mysteries
http://mysterybooks.about.com/arts/mysterybooks/cs/juvenile/index.htm
 
Mysterynet.com
http://mysterynet.com/
Explore the world of mysteries. This website contains online mysteries as well as lots of information about mysteries and mystery writing. This site contains information for mystery lovers of all ages.
Not-To-Be-Missed Section:
Kids Mysteries from MysteryNet http://kids.mysterynet.com
 
Mystery Spot
http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/mspot/
This website contains excellent science mysteries.
 
After visiting several of the websites, complete one or more of the following mystery activities.
 
Create a Sleuth Sheet. Brainstorm ideas for solving mysteries. Explore tips for solving mysteries at Detective Tips. Create a sheet of tips to help young sleuths solve mysteries. Try out your tips on a mystery book. Did they help?
 
Solve a Mystery. Go to Two Minute Mystery "Solve -It" Club and test your deductive abilities at solving the tricky weekly mystery. If you are looking for more mysteries to solve, then continue on to The Case.Com for Kids and Dakota Meadows Mini-mysteries.
 
Choose a Setting. Mysteries can have many themes. You can find mysteries that focus on cooking, gardening, golfing, libraries, and other hobbies. What's your favorite hobby? Write a mystery using that topic.
 
Explore American Indian Mysteries. Read the article 'American Indian Mysteries': A Crossover Genre Not Quite There. Read a mystery that includes some aspect of Native American culture. Do a little research. Is the culture well-represented? Why or why not?
 
Create a Mystery Stamp. Explore the pictures at Detective Fiction on Stamps. Choose your favorite mystery author or character and create a stamp that reflects the person or character.
 
Write a Science Mystery. Try a science mystery at the Mystery Spot. Choose a science topic. Mix science and fiction to create a science mystery of your own.
.
Write a History Mystery. Explore the world of historical mysteries at the Historical Mystery Homepage. Read an interactive history mystery called the Panama Puzzle, Virginia's Online Colonial Mystery, and WebQuest: Salem Mystery. Choose an event in history to explore. Then, write a story that mixes historical facts and fictional characters.
 
Create a Mystery Story. Use some of the website information to help you write your first mystery. You could submit your finished mystery to the Two Minute Mystery Writing Club (Grade 4-10), and see if your story is a 'stumper.' Another mystery writing contest can be found at Kids' Mystery Contest at Candlelight Stories; you can also examine past contest winners.
 
Take a Mystery Quiz. How well do you know Sherlock Holmes? Take the Sherlock Holmes Quiz.
 
Learn about Crime. To write a good mystery, you need to learn about crime and justice. Explore the FBI for Kids page. Choose a real court case from CourtTV or People's Court. Choose some aspect of the case and write a fictional mystery.
 
Police Plots. Go to the Police Image page. Use a picture as a story starter for a mystery. Or, start with a Police Noise.
 
Subject Area Mysteries. You can find mysteries to solve in every subject area. Try an art mystery called A. Pintura: The Case of Grandpa's Painting. Then, write your own art or music mystery using pictures or sounds.
 
Complete a Mystery Webquest. Follow or adapt the guidelines provided as you complete one of these webquests:
1) Edgar Allen Poe WebQuest
http://www.ncwiseowl.org/webquest/poe/wqpoe.htm
2) Exhibit A
http://207.8.141.49/staffwww/StefanL/webquest/evidence/
3) The Man Who Was Poe
http://www.natick.k12.ma.us/schools/wilson/webquest/doherty/poe.html
4) Mystery, Mayhem, and Mistletoe
http://webquest.kiko.com/cindy/mystery--mayhem--and-mistletoe
5) Mystery Webquest http://www.wcboe.k12.md.us/mainfold/technolog/techsat/Wells/WebQuest/MysteryWebQuest.html
6) Sherlockian WebQuest: The search for clues
http://www.loudoun.k12.va.us/schools/srms/sjones/
7) The Westing Game WebQuest
http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/fil/pages/webthewestol.html
8) Who killed Mr. Sam Westing? (Westing Game book)
http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/fil/pages/webthewestmr.html
 
Websites By Kids For Kids
Authors: Mysteries on the Net
http://library.thinkquest.org/26791/
This project lists authors and provides mystery games to play.
 
Dakota Meadows Mini-mysteries (Grade 8)
http://www.isd77.k12.mn.us/schools/dakota/mystery/contents.html
Students at Dakota Meadows Middle School in North Mankato, Minnesota, have written short, two-minute mysteries. Use your wits and detective skills to solve these cases.
 
Evidence: The True Witness
http://library.thinkquest.org/17049/gather/
Learn about the role of detectives and forensic science in solving crimes.
 
Millennium Mystery Madness
http://library.thinkquest.org/J002344/
Find out about the history of mystery, anatomy of a mystery, global mysteries, author tips, and other interesting information about mystery reading and writing.
 
Mystery
http://tqjunior.thinkquest.org/5109/
Learn about mysteries. Read and solve mysteries.
 
More Mystery Websites
211B Baker Street: Sherlock Holmes
http://members.tripod.com/~msherman/holmes.html
Explore the world of Sherlock Holmes. Read the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous character online.
More Sherlock Holmes Sites:
2) Sherlockian.Net http://www.sherlockian.net/
 
A Guide to Classic Mystery and Detection
http://members.aol.com/MG4273/classics.htm
This website contains links to resources and information on classic mystery writers and works.
 
Collins to Grisham: A Brief History of the Legal Thriller
http://www.law.utexas.edu/lpop/legstud.htm
What could be more natural than for lawyers and legal stories to have been instrumental in the creation of the mystery novel, and particularly, the subgenre legal thriller?
 
Crime Puzzle Central
http://www.total.net/~ppoirier/crimepuzzles/
Do you enjoy solving crime puzzles? This website provides links to crime puzzle websites where you get to play detective.
 
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Mystery at ClueLass
http://www.cluelass.com/FAQ.html
This site provides insights to British mysteries.
 
Goosebumps on the Web
http://place.scholastic.com/goosebumps/high/index.htm
Learn about the Goosebumps mystery series.
 
How to Write a Mystery by S. Tiedemann from Writer Online Archives
http://www.novalearn.com/wol/archives/sunnye7.htm
"Begin at the beginning," the Queen of Hearts said to Alice, "and go on until you get to the end. Then stop." Good advice for anyone writing a first mystery, and it's equally good advice for this first column in the new mystery section of Writer On Line.
Other Articles by S. Tiedemann at Writer Online:
2) Writing Bad: How to Create A Memorable Villain http://www.novalearn.com/wol/archives/sunnye8.htm
3) Got a Clue? http://www.novalearn.com/wol/archives/sunnye10.htm
 
Murder: Elements of Mystery Writing
http://www.utep.edu/lincoln/hayden/hayden.html
L.C. Hayden, author of Who's Susan?, visits Lincoln and gives student authors tips on mystery writing.
Other Tips Sites for Mystery Writing:
2) Getting Away With Murder: A Short Course on Mystery Writing http://members.tripod.com/~Twyla/index-1.html
3) How to Write a Mystery by Gillian Roberts http://www.gillianroberts.com/write/lesson1.htm
4) Whodunnit, Howdunnit, And Whydunnit:10 Tips For Writing Your Mystery Novel by B. Sassone http://www.poewar.com/articles/writing_your_mystery.htm
 
Mysteries in a Flash
http://mysterybooks.about.com/arts/mysterybooks/cs/juvenilesleuths/index.htm
Read mysteries with juvenile sleuths.
 
Mysteries.com
http://www.mysteries.com/index.html
This Arts & Entertainment (A&E) site focuses on mysteries on televisions, discussions, and a mystery of the day (mostly for high school age and adults).
 
Mysterious Home Page
http://www.webfic.com/mysthome/mysthome.htm
This is a links-guide to mystery resources on the Internet.
 
Mystery Spot
http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/mspot/
This website contains excellent science mysteries.
 
Mystery Writers of America, Inc.
http://www.mysterywriters.org/
This organization for mystery writers and other professionals in the mystery field watches developments in legislation and tax law, sponsors symposia and mystery conferences, presents the Edgar Awards, and provides information for mystery writers.
 
Mystery Writing with Joan Lowery Nixon
http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/mystery/index.htm
Learn about mysteries and mystery writing.
 
Nancy Drew.com
http://www.nancydrew.com/kids/
Explore the world of Nancy Drew. Read and listen to books and stories online. Learn more about the characters and author. The site also includes lesson plans.
 
PBS Mystery
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/mystery/
Explore mystery stories, quizzes, and games.
 
Resources For Mystery Writers from Inkspot
http://www.inkspot.com/genres/mystery/
Here you find InkSpot resources and links to lots of other mystery sites.
 
Short Order from the Short Mystery Fiction Society
http://www.thewindjammer.com/smfs/newsletter/
This is the online 'Mystery Newsletter' for readers and writers of mystery fiction in the short form.
 
Twists, Slugs and Roscoes: A Glossary of Hardboiled Slang by W. Denton
http://www.miskatonic.org/slang.html
This is the language spoken by Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, Mike Hammer and the Continental Op. When Cagney, Bogart, Robinson and Raft got in a turf war, this is how they talked.
 
Women Sleuths
http://elink.scls.lib.wi.us/mad/sleuths.html
Explore a list of authors, titles, and sleuth descriptions focusing on female sleuth.
 
Websites for Teachers  
Author Study/Mystery Writing (Grades 4-6)
http://www.sd81.k12.wa.us/libby/program/project/ICAT/view.idc?proj_num=888
Students read and discuss meaning of mystery writing. Then each chooses one mystery writer and does indepth research on the writers life. They write a brief summary of their author's books.
 
Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Newsletter : Mysteries
http://www.carolhurst.com/newsletters/31bnewsletters.html
Read mystery book reviews and ideas for integrating mysteries into your classroom.
 
Challenging Children With Mystery Stories
http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1989/4/89.04.06.x.html
This unit contains three lessons including: reading a mystery, be a mystery critic, and writing a mystery story from a newspaper article.
 
It's a Mystery to Me
http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1995/1/95.01.07.x.html
This excellent article provides information on the history or mysteries and integrating them into the reading classroom. The article also contains lesson plans and classroom activity ideas.
 
MysteryNet: Learning from Mystery (Grade 4 and up)
http://www.mysterynet.com/learn/lessonplans/mystery.shtml
This lesson plan focuses on what mysteries are by discussing mysteries they have read or seen on TV.
 
Mystery from History
http://www.mccsc.edu/~wtamborr/class/mystery.html
Students use e-mail and develop good questioning skills by becoming inquisitive detectives.
 
Mystery Pictures (Grade 5-6) by M. Furst from AskERIC
http://askeric.org/Virtual/Lessons/Language_Arts/Listening_Comprehension/LST0003.html
Help students give and follow directions in this mystery activity.
 
Not As It Seems: Learning With Mysteries (Grade 6-8)
http://dcps.dade.k12.fl.us/technology/reading/mystery/
This unit plan on mysteries involves the content areas of language arts, social studies, science, and geography.
 
Reading and Writing a Mystery (Grade 6-8)
http://www2.ncsu.edu/midtech/spotlight/ncsu_proj_stu/candler_less1.html
Students read "The Westing Game" and learn about mystery reading and writing.
 
Sherlock Holmes: Teaching English through Detective Fiction
http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1989/4/89.04.04.x.html
This article describes how to integrate detective fiction into the English curriculum.
 
Suspense-around
http://www.eduplace.com/rdg/hmll/purple/dark/suspense.html
In this 'round robin' activity, students will work in cooperative writing groups to develop a variety of possible stories around a single prompt.
 
Teacher Tips: Helping Students Write Short Mystery Stories
http://www.kidsloveamystery.com/teachers/tip.shtml
Explore this list of tips for teaching kids to write short stories.
 
Two Minute Mystery Writing Club Preparation
http://www.qesn.meq.gouv.qc.ca/project/2mmclub/prep.htm
This page highlights tips for teaching the mystery writing process.
 
mystery
clue
story
plot
setting
foreshadowing
evidence
misdirection
villian
hero
sleuth
red herring
false clue
suspense
suspicion
cliff hanger
victim
Edgar Awards
genre
writing
drama
alibi
deduction
suspects
witness
twist
climax
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Edgar Allan Poe
character
conflict
irony
disaster, castastrophe, & calamity
mysterious & unexplained
spooky
ghosts, ghouls & goblins
 
  
 
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 12/00.