Thursday, February 5, 2015


MYSTERY PERSON was a writing activity I did each year in my classroom. The children loved it, and it was a perfect opportunity to “sneak” in writing standards. It was also a way for children to learn “delayed gratification.” Everybody was going to get a turn, but they had to “wait” for their special day. (I think the children were better at this than some of the parents. I actually had a mother complain because her son hadn’t been mystery person. Oh, you’ve got one of those parents as well!) I didn’t choose the smartest child or the most well-behaved child. I just randomly picked someone who I thought needed extra love.
I introduced this activity by explaining that I’d choose a special friend as the “mystery person” each day. The class would have to read the clues and be detectives to solve the mystery. (Hint! I told them to smile if they thought they knew the answer so they wouldn’t all shout out.)

I talked out loud about the specific details as I wrote:
Let me write the title at the top of the page – ‘Mystery Person.’
Let me look at your eyes. Here’s clue number one.”
Write, 1 on the board as you say, "Hmmm–I have to start this sentence with a capital M. A capital letter is like the 'go' sign telling you where to start.” 

Continue writing the sentence. 
1.  My eyes are brown
"What do I need to put at the end to tell me to stop? That’s right. A period.” 
Continue writing four or five more clues similar to the ones below. End the chart with the question, “Who am I?” Read over the chart together and then ask the mystery person to stand up. The mystery person gets to decorate her chart and take it home. 


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