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2018/19 SEASON THE STORY PIRATES

The Broad Stage presents

THE STORY PIRATES: THIS SHOW IS MISSING!

STUDENT MATINEE FRI MAR 29, 2019 10 AM & 12:30 PM GRADES 3-5

THE BROAD STAGE AT THE SANTA MONICA COLLEGE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER THEBROADSTAGE.ORG/EDUCATION 1310 11TH ST., SANTA MONICA, CA 90401 / 310.434.3560

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2018/19 SEASON THE STORY PIRATES

Jane Deknatel Director, Performing Arts Center EDUCATION & COMMUNITY PROGRAMS STAFF

Ilaan E. Mazzini, Director of Education & Community Programs Mandy Matthews, Education & Community Programs Manager Olivia Murray, Education & Community Programs Assistant The Story Pirates

EDUCATION & COMMUNITY PROGRAMS Phone 310.434.3560 education@thebroadstage.org thebroadstage.org/education THE BROAD STAGE 1310 11th Street Santa Monica, CA 90401 Box Office 310.434.3200 Fax 310.434.3439 info@thebroadstage.org thebroadstage.org

Education and Community Programs at The Broad Stage is supported in part by The Herb Alpert Foundation Johnny Carson Foundation City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Commission The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Leonard M. Lipman Charitable Fund Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Dwight Stuart Youth Fund

THE BROAD STAGE AT THE SANTA MONICA COLLEGE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER THEBROADSTAGE.ORG/EDUCATION 1310 11TH ST., SANTA MONICA, CA 90401 / 310.434.3560

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GREETINGS FROM THE STORY PIRATES! Dear Educators, We at the Story Pirates are beyond thrilled to partner with The Broad Stage to present “The Show is Missing!” to you and your students! This interactive production invites your kids to take part in a mystery that will not only keep them engaged during the show, but will leave them feeling inspired to come up with their own whodunits after they exit the theatre. This performance celebrates the release of our latest book Digging Up Danger. It’s part novel, part writing guide, and we’re excited to share with students and educators alike! The Story Pirates was founded in 2004 to celebrate the words, ideas, and stories of young people. Our education department pairs experienced teachers with talented artists to collaborate with schools and communities in creating exciting, dynamic classes on writing and theatre arts. We started with one pilot program in Harlem, NYC, and now work in over 250 schools across the country. The more we grow, the more committed we are to making learning accessible, effective, and engaging. That’s why we’re delighted to give you the tools to bring mystery writing to life in your own classrooms. In the following common core aligned lessons, you’ll use theatrical exercises to help your students create detectives, clues, culprits, and more! We also aim to challenge preconceptions about the genre, and give students the freedom to write weird, innovative stories that go to unusual places they never realized were possible. If you have any questions about how to get the most out of this study guide, please feel free to reach out. We’re here to help crack the Case of the Incredible Student Writing! Your friends at The Story Pirates

THE BROAD STAGE AT THE SANTA MONICA COLLEGE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER THEBROADSTAGE.ORG/EDUCATION 1310 11TH ST., SANTA MONICA, CA 90401 / 310.434.3560

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CONTENTS LESSONS

LESSON 1: How to Create a Mystery................................................ 5 HANDOUT 1: Mystery Setting Organizer.................................................. 9 HANDOUT 2: Mansion Picture.................................................................... 10 LESSON 2: Culprits and Clues............................................................ 12 HANDOUT 3: Guess the Clues..................................................................... 16 HANDOUT 4: Culprit Case File..................................................................... 17 HANDOUT 5: A Ridiculous Number of Details..................................................18 LESSON 3: Cracking the Case............................................................ 19 HANDOUT 6: Detective Dossier...........................................................................23 HANDOUT 7: Investigation Record......................................................................24 LESSON 4: Can You Keep a Secret?................................................. 25 HANDOUT 8: Weird Words......................................................................... 29 HANDOUT 9: Examples of “Setting the Scene”........................................ 30

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES GLOSSARY.................................................................................................. 31

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LESSON 1: HOW TO CREATE A MYSTERY LESSON AT A GLANCE LESSON OBJECTIVE: Students will able to create a setting, taking into consideration how that setting would be experienced with all 5 senses, and create a mystery to take place in that setting. DURATION: 50 minutes MATERIALS: Handout 1: Mystery Setting Organizer, Handout 2: Mansion Picture, pencils, white board/ smart board/chart paper/some other way of writing out student brainstorms and group model activities STANDARDS: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.3.A Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally. California VAPA Theater, Grade Three: 2.1 Participate in cooperative scriptwriting or improvisations that incorporate the five Ws. CONCEPTS/VOCABULARY: Setting - where and when the story takes place. 5 senses - the faculties of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. Mystery - for our purposes, a mystery is something either missing, or weird and unexplained, within the setting. GUIDING QUESTIONS: What are some ways to create a detailed setting and bring it to life for the reader? How can we create a mystery to solve in a story?

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LESSON PLAN Chances are, your students have some experience with mystery stories. They have probably read a mystery book, and they have almost certainly seen some crime procedurals on TV. In fact, the majority of them probably carry around a lot of preconceived notions of what a mystery story is, and how mysteries usually play out. The overarching goal of this Study Guide is to provide students with basic tools to plan well-structured mysteries of their own, and to challenge them to break with some of their preconceived notions. These lessons aim to push their mysteries into less well traveled, more creative, and (frankly) more interesting territory. Warm-Up Discussion: What is a Mystery? Lead a class discussion on mysteries and ask your students about their experience with mystery stories. This will help you gauge their previous knowledge on mysteries and get students excited to write a mystery of their own. What are some mystery stories you enjoy? Who are some detectives that you know about? What are some of the important building blocks of a mystery story? What mystery vocabulary are you familiar with? What are terms that you have heard detectives say in stories? Mini Lesson: Mystery Setting Play a short game with your students that allows them to start thinking like a detective. Describe a setting using the five senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch and ask students to identify the five clues and guess the setting. Follow the steps below. 1. Choose a setting to describe. The first setting you choose should be very simple or close to home for them: a school cafeteria, a playground, a beach, etc. 2. Describe the setting using the five senses. While describing, ask students to close their eyes and listen. (ex. “As you enter, you hear lots of chattering voices--mostly kids, but some adults as well. The smell of tacos drifts towards you, as you hold something hard and plastic in your hand...etc.”) 3. After describing the setting, ask students to identify examples of the five senses that were mentioned and to guess the setting. 4. If the students have a very easy time, you can move on to trickier examples, and even invite student volunteers to have the group guess their own examples. Discuss important details of a mystery setting with your students. • Not all settings have to be spooky and “mysterious”, sometimes seemingly normal settings make for the best mysteries: it can be fun for your readers to see the mysterious side of a place similar to one where they go every day. • It is easier to write a mystery set in a place where there are lots of people. Brainstorm a list of settings together as a class with lots of people around. Make a list on the board. Examples: public places like the pool, museum, school, stadium, etc. or weirder examples like a fancy party in a mansion, a cave where pirates go to retire, etc. THE BROAD STAGE AT THE SANTA MONICA COLLEGE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER THEBROADSTAGE.ORG/EDUCATION 1310 11TH ST., SANTA MONICA, CA 90401 / 310.434.3560

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As a class, work together to fill out a model version of Handout 1: Mystery Setting Graphic Organizer, either projected on a smart board, or written up on chart paper. The setting can be chosen from the brainstormed list, or can be something completely different, as long as it is a public place with lots of people around. Focus on helping the group to effectively describe that setting using all five senses. Distribute Handout 1: Mystery Setting Graphic Organizer and ask students to choose a setting for their mystery story. Once again, the setting can be chosen from the brainstormed list, or can be something completely different. Remind students to choose a setting with lots of people around. Have students fill out Handout 1 and describe the setting using the five senses. MAIN ACTIVITY: THE MYSTERY Now it’s time to help students to create their own mystery. One method that works well with students in 3rd-5th grade, is to imagine something that is either MISSING from the setting, or something WEIRD, that DOESN’T BELONG there. Students have permission to use their imagination, creativity, and to get weird! Pass out Handout 2: Mansion Setting and tell students that this is a setting with something WEIRD that DOESN’T BELONG. Ask students to individually analyze the image and circle the items that do not belong. Answer: there are 10 mustaches hidden in this picture. Who put them there? Is it part of some diabolical plan? That’s the mystery! Go back to the list of settings that the class brainstormed, and ask students to give suggestions of things that might be missing, or something weird that doesn’t belong. For each example, add a “case name” (ie. “The Case of the Many Mustaches in the Mansion” or “The Case of the Missing Ferris Wheel”.) Ask students to draw a picture of the setting they created on Handout 1, using Handout 2 as a model. The drawings should include a lot of detail and tie into the five senses that they identified in Handout 1. The setting should also have something that is missing, or something weird that doesn’t belong. Please be sure your students understand that we’re not worrying about the character who is responsible for the mystery...yet. In the next lesson we will be talking much more about the “culprit” character behind the mystery. For now, we’re just focusing on the mystery itself. Task: Draw the setting of your mystery story that includes many details, and features something that is missing, or something weird that doesn’t belong. Assessment Criteria: • Drawings accurately illustrate a chosen setting. • Settings are reflective of Handout 1 and the five senses. • There is something that is missing, or something weird that doesn’t belong in the setting. Purpose: To accurately describe and illustrate the chosen setting of a mystery story. If time permits, you can have students pair share their drawing with a partner. Challenge the students to identify the mystery in each other’s setting. THE BROAD STAGE AT THE SANTA MONICA COLLEGE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER THEBROADSTAGE.ORG/EDUCATION 1310 11TH ST., SANTA MONICA, CA 90401 / 310.434.3560

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TAKE IT FURTHER!

If you are looking to add some extra drama and engagement to these lessons, you can challenge your students to solve a mystery in the classroom. This will take some extra preparation, but will help make the lessons come to life and help your students to remember the concepts in a mystery story. Follow this outline to create a mystery for your classroom. 1. Choose a classroom mystery that follows the model of something missing, or weird that doesn’t belong. Example: “Students, I need some help with my own mystery: the case of the missing jelly jar! I brought a jar of delicious strawberry jelly in my lunch today, which I was looking forward to spreading on toast. But now, that jelly jar has disappeared!” 2. Tell your students that for the next few lessons they have a mystery to solve right here in their classroom! Bring up the mystery at every point in the lessons that help model important aspects of a mystery story. Example 1: During the “Guess the Setting” game, describe the classroom. Then ask students to describe strawberry jelly with their five senses, and ask them to be on the lookout for clues to its whereabouts. Example 2: Reference the missing jelly jar in “The Mystery” section, and even draw (or prepare ahead of time) your own picture for the “Guess the Mystery” game. “It’s a picture of this classroom. Can anyone tell what’s missing? That’s right! My jelly jar!” 3. Over the course of the following lessons, keep finding ways to weave your mystery back in. a. Before Lesson 2, decide on a culprit who took the jelly jar (or who caused whatever mystery you decide to do). Culprits might include another adult who the students know (and is willing to play along), or even yourself, who misplaced it, or ate it while sleepwalking, etc. (The culprit should probably not be one of the students, since especially if the mystery involves something of yours going missing, it will be a challenge to handle all the ramifications of that appropriately). b. Decide on why the culprit did it, and make sure that the reason is something other than theft: it could be a misunderstanding (“I thought it was my jelly!”), or someone secretly trying to help you (“I wanted to surprise you by ordering more of this brand of jelly!”), or hatching some sort of other secret plan (“I’m making cookies for everyone out of the jelly!”). c. Plant clues pointing to this person’s identity. For example, have something that this person wears or carries all the time prominently “hidden” in the classroom, or have them behave “suspiciously” in some way in front of the students, etc. Arrange for these clues to be discovered by the students, or for this suspicious behavior to happen at a time aligned with those topics in Lesson 2. 4. Finally, (possibly at the end of Lesson 3) have the culprit unveiled! In keeping with our challenge to students in Lesson 2, think about the consequences for the person who caused the mystery, and come up with a creative way for the mystery to resolve that does NOT involve the culprit “going to jail” (as so many mysteries predictably end with). Maybe as punishment they need to do an embarrassing silly dance...or maybe all along they were working on a special project which is now revealed (“I was making everyone cookies with strawberry jam!”), etc.

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HANDOUT 1: MYSTERY SETTING

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HANDOUT 2: MANSION PICTURE

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HANDOUT 2: MANSION PICTURE, KEY

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LESSON 2: CULPRITS AND CLUES LESSON AT A GLANCE LESSON OBJECTIVE: Students will be able to create effective “culprit” characters for their stories and be able to identify characteristics of their culprit that may serve as “clues” in their story. DURATION: 90 minutes MATERIALS: Handout 3: Guess the Clues, Handout 4: Culprit Case File, Handout 5: A Ridiculous Number of Details, pencils, white board/smart board/chart paper/some other way of writing out student brainstorms and group model activities STANDARDS: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.3.A: Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally. California VAPA Theater, Grade Four: 1.2 Identify a character’s objectives and motivations to explain that character’s behavior. CONCEPTS/VOCABULARY: Culprit - a person who is responsible for what is missing or what went wrong. Clue - a piece of evidence or information used in the detection of a crime or solving of a mystery. GUIDING QUESTIONS: How can we create an effective culprit for a mystery story? How can we plan ahead of time for clues the culprit will be leaving in the story?

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LESSON PLAN Mystery stories are strange to write: when you’re planning one out, you have to do a lot of things backwards. With most stories you can start off with a beginning, then think about the middle of the story, and not worry about how things are going to end until you get there. With a mystery, on the other hand, you need to decide how things are going to end very early on: otherwise, you won’t be able to carefully plan just the right clues for your mystery to get solved! That’s why this lesson is all about the big spoiler at the end of the story: the culprit behind the mystery. Warm-Up Discussion: What is a Culprit? Lead a class discussion about the term “culprit,” to check for prior knowledge (and preconceived notions). What is a culprit in a mystery story? What are some examples of culprits you have seen in stories? In your discussion, there are two important points you will want to make sure students understand: 1. In some mysteries, the culprit is a “criminal,” but culprits do not HAVE to be committing a crime. Culprits can have all kinds of different reasons why they might cause a mystery. They might even be good people who did nothing wrong, or weird people who did something weird, or simply people who made a mistake, and are embarrassed about it. 2. The most important thing for a writer is that the culprit should be a HUGE SECRET to the reader. Most of the time, for the whole mystery story the reader is trying to guess who the culprit is--in fact, another term for mystery is a “whodunit”. The culprit is the person who “done it,” or caused the mystery. A big part of the trick to writing a good mystery is keeping this person a secret from the reader...but giving the reader enough clues to try to guess who it is. Mini Lesson: Clues and Culprits One of the most important parts of creating a culprit is coming up with clues about them to plant in your story later. Let students know that you’re about to practice putting clues together, just like a detective, to try to identify a culprit. Handout 3 presents a series of clues for several different culprits. Depending on the students, you may choose to read Handout 3 aloud, and discuss the clues as an entire class, or cut the paper up and have small groups of students each focus on a different set of clues. Once students have guessed the culprit, follow up with questions to explore how they arrived at this answer. For example: How did the clues help you identify the culprit? What are examples of different clues we saw from each of the 5 senses?

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MAIN LESSON: CREATING CULPRITS In this lesson, students will be creating their own detailed culprit character. Let them know that a culprit can be any kind of character they want, as long as that character was in the setting, and caused the mystery (see Lesson 1 for how to create a mystery setting). Any character who is in the setting for any reason can turn out to be a culprit, as long as the writer is excited to write about them. As a class, work together to fill out a model version of Handouts 4 and 5, the Culprit Case File, either projected on a smart board, or written up on chart paper. Below is a quick guide for the major points to be sure to address for each box on these handouts: • • •

• •

Who is the culprit? What is their name, and if applicable, what are they (a human, an animal, something weirder?) What did the culprit do to cause the mystery? Get as specific as you can about exactly how they did it. Why did they do it? Deciding why the culprit did it is one of the most important questions to ask: if they have a strong reason why the did it, the story will be much more interesting than if the reason is simply “because they’re evil”. Were they a criminal, trying to get rich (for example, if the mystery is about the water missing from a swimming pool, is the culprit going to ransom the town to get it back for a profit)? Was it an accident (for example, they accidentally drained all the water from the pool while digging for treasure)? Or was the reason much weirder (for example, their alien spaceship runs on water, and they needed it to get home--they’ll bring more back later). What will happen if someone finds out this person is the culprit? Usually the culprit doesn’t want to get caught--that’s part of why it’s a mystery! In many mystery stories, the answer to this question is simple: the culprit goes to jail. You should, however, encourage student to come up with ANY answer besides simply saying “jail”. Jail has been a consequence so often that the story will be much more interesting if there is it goes in a surprising direction. Maybe the culprit needs to apologize in a creative way...or maybe they were doing something good all along, but were afraid to reveal themselves...or maybe the answer is much, much weirder. Challenge the students to come up with different ideas. Draw and label the culprit. Students can draw a detailed picture of what the culprit looks like, and label any important details. A RIDICULOUS number of details. Finally, there are a bunch of smaller boxes to fill in a RIDICULOUS number of details. These questions are mostly here to provide lots of ideas for clues that the culprit can leave behind. You can reference the mini lesson on clues, and ask students to think about the most interesting clues they can come up with for this culprit. (If you plan to do the extension activity below, you can also ask students to leave the final box blank, to be filled in later).

Distribute Handouts 4 and 5 to the students, and have them create culprits for their own mysteries, following the guidelines above. Extension Activity: Suspicious Behavior (if time) When the students are finished, introduce another kind of clue that has not been talked about yet: suspicious behavior. If someone is acting weird, in a way you wouldn’t normally expect someone to act, or in a way that makes it look like they have something to hide, they are being suspicious. You can lead the students in the following game to explore this concept:

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• • • •

The game starts by choosing a setting--ideally a public place with lots of people (you can choose this off your list of settings you created in Lesson 1). Student volunteers will name normal things that you would expect people to be doing in that setting. (For example, in a restaurant: waiters carrying food, chefs cooking, diners eating, etc). One at a time, students will act out each of these normal activities in a chosen space in the room. As one student after another joins the scene, it will come more and more to resemble the chosen busy setting, with lots of different people going about their normal lives. Then one final volunteer joins them, and acts out something suspicious, that you would not normally expect someone to be doing in the setting. (For example: in the restaurant: someone digging through the trash, looking over their shoulder to see if anyone has noticed them...or hiding under a table looking around the room...or taking food off the tray that one of the waiters is carrying, etc). Does acting suspiciously mean that this person is the culprit? Not necessarily! All we know for sure is that this person is being weird. They might be a culprit, or might not. The class can brainstorm an innocent reason someone might be acting suspicious in the way we just dramatized...and a reason someone might be doing it because they’re guilty. There can be multiple rounds of this game.

Tell the students to think about their individual mysteries, and the culprit that caused them. If someone saw the culprit around the time they caused the mystery, would they have been doing anything suspicious, that made them stand out in the setting? Students can make a note of any ideas they want to remember on their Culprit Case File. An easy place to make this note is in the final box, saying “What’s another important detail about them?” (Handout 5) Task: Create a well developed culprit character, who caused an imaginary mystery. Assessment Criteria: • The culprit was clear motivations, including why they wanted to cause the mystery, and why they don’t want anyone to find out. • There are lots of details about the culprit which can be turned into clues later. • There is at least one piece of suspicious behavior, where the culprit acts in a strange way. Purpose: To create a culprit who will fit into your mystery story. Wrap up the lesson by having students share some of their work. Since the contents of the Culprit Case File are TOP SECRET, the students won’t reveal their culprits outright, but they will share a few of the clues they have created, to see if their classmates can guess anything about the culprit based on these clues.

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HANDOUT 3: GUESS THE CLUES

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HANDOUT 4: CULPRIT CASE FILE

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HANDOUT 5: A RIDICULOUS NUMBER OF DETAILS

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LESSON 3: CRACKING THE CASE LESSON AT A GLANCE LESSON OBJECTIVE: Students will be able to create a detailed, original detective character, develop effective clues for their mystery, which logically point to their chosen character as the culprit, and plan out an “investigation” in which the detective effectively deduces the solution to the mystery. DURATION: 90 minutes MATERIALS: Handout 6: Detective Dossier, Handout 7: Investigation Record, pencils, white board/ smart board/chart paper/some other way of writing out student brainstorms and group model activities STANDARDS: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. California VAPA Theater, Grade Four: 2.1 Demonstrate the emotional traits of a character through gesture and action. CONCEPTS/VOCABULARY: Detective - a character trying to solve a mystery. Investigate - to find out the facts about something in order to learn how it happened or who did it. GUIDING QUESTIONS: How can we create interesting, detailed detective characters for a mystery story? How can we plant clues in the story that logically point towards the culprit?

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LESSON PLAN A detective is someone trying to solve a mystery. They might be a kid, an old lady, a cat, an alien--it doesn’t matter! If they’re trying to solve a mystery, they’re a detective. Warm-Up Discussion: Detectives Lead a class discussion about detectives, and ask your students what they already know about this character’s role in a mystery story. What are some detective characters you are familiar with? What are some things detectives do to solve a mystery? What kind of skills make a good detective? Mini-Lesson: Face Your Fears In order to make a detective character as interesting as possible, it’s a good idea to give that character some fears or weaknesses, because it’s exciting when a character has to deal with those things in a story! This mini lesson is to get the students thinking about fears and weaknesses, and how to use them to good effect with a detective character. • •

The class can brainstorm a list of different fears and weaknesses any character might have. These can range from the realistic (afraid of heights, unable to swim) to the weird (afraid of frogs, they sneeze uncontrollably whenever they hear a saxophone). If a character is in a situation where they have to face one of their fears, they might respond in different ways. Some characters might be so scared they can barely function. Some might decide to be as brave as possible. Some might get frustrated and angry. Some might react in some other, surprising way. After making the list, student volunteers will choose one of the fears or weaknesses, and decide where a detective character might go where they would have to face that fear (eg, afraid of heights: looking for clues on the roof of a tall building, unable to swim: the mystery is taking place on a cruise ship, etc). Choose an emotion the detective might feel while facing their fear, and have volunteers come up one by one to act it out. Here are some questions you might ask the volunteers, or their classmates, as you go through this activity. Who can describe what this volunteer is doing? How are they communicating how this character is feeling? Who has a totally different way to show the same emotion? Can you make the movement you’re doing even bigger, so the audience can see more clearly what you’re doing? How can you use your voice to also show the emotion the character is feeling? What would this character say? What sounds can you make to go along with the movements you’re doing? Everyone, let’s do this all together! Choose some of your favorite things that the volunteers chose to do, and add in ideas of your own, and we’ll all portray this emotion together. You can repeat this several times for different emotions.

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MAIN ACTIVITY: THE DETECTIVE INVESTIGATES In this lesson, students will be creating their own detailed detective character. Any character who is trying to solve a mystery can be a detective, as long as the writer is excited to write about them. As a class, work together to fill out a model version of Handout 6: Detective Dossier, either projected on a smart board, or written up on chart paper. Below is a quick guide for the major points to be sure to address for each box on this handout: • Who is the detective? What is their name, and what kind of character are they (a human, an animal, something weirder?) • Why are they solving the mystery? Some detectives are hired: it’s their job to solve mysteries, either for the police, as a private detective, or for some other imaginary organization. For other detectives, it’s personal: they’re just somebody who spends time in the setting where the mystery takes place, or maybe even something belonging to them has gone missing. • What else do they like to do (besides solving mysteries)? Detectives don’t spend every hour of every day solving mysteries. Learning about what they do in their spare time can make them more believable, interesting characters. • What fears or weaknesses do they have? Ask the students to reflect on the game they played in the mini-lesson, and tell them to come up with a fear or weakness that they would enjoy writing about. Encourage them to consider how the detective will feel when they come face to face with this fear, or have to overcome this weakness. • What skills make them a good detective? Are they very observant, and good at finding clues? Do they go around in disguise so they can observe people without their knowledge? Are they a “people person” who is very good at getting people to share clues with them? Are they intimidating, and people are so scared of them that they agree to help out? There isn’t a wrong answer to this question, as long as the students decide what skills would be helpful in their particular mysteries. • What else do you want the reader to know? Draw, write, or draw and label more information about the detective. Distribute Handout 6: Detective Dossier to the students, and have them create their own detective characters, following the guidelines above. When they are done, you may choose to have them share their detectives, which could include acting out what it looks like when the detective has to face their fear, or overcome their weakness. Now that students have planned the setting, the mystery, the culprit, the detective, and started to decide on clues for the detective to track down, it’s time to think about the Investigation. This is the part of the story where the detective looks for clues, and tries to figure out who the culprit is! And the best part is, the students have done most of the planning work already--now they just need to put it all together. Handout 7: The Investigation Record will help them to do this.

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As a class, work together to fill out a model version of Handout 7, the Investigation Record, either projected on a smart board, or written up on chart paper. Below is a quick guide for the major points to be sure to address for each box on this handout: Clues: • For your purposes, the clues can mostly come from the list of “a RIDICULOUS number of details” about the culprit (from Handout 5, Lesson 2). What sort of artifact, food item, piece of clothing, or other tell-tale sign did they leave behind? This could include smells, sounds, or even tastes that they accidentally left in the setting. • If it’s helpful, you can review, or play another round of the Guess the Culprit game from the mini-lesson in Lesson 2. • You could also review the concept of “Suspicious Behavior” from Lesson 2 for further ideas. How did the detective find them? There are a few ways to answer this question: • Snooping around: this is the easiest one of all. The detective just walks around the setting, looking for clues with their five senses. • • •

Watch for suspicious behavior: sometimes the detective hides out in the setting, or secretly follows another character, looking to see if they do anything suspicious. Questioning people: sometimes the detective doesn’t see the clue, or the suspicious behavior. Sometimes someone else sees it, and tells the detective about it. Keep in mind fears and weaknesses: try to make the detective have to confront a fear or weakness to find at least one clue.

Distribute Handout 7: Detective Dossier to the students, and have them create detectives for their own detectives, following the guidelines above. Task: Create a well developed detective character, and a plan for how that character investigates a mystery. Assessment Criteria: • The detective is described in detail, including a clear fear or weakness. • Clues are chosen for the detective to find, which fit with the culprit character from Lesson 2. • A plan is developed for exactly how the detective will find each clue. Purpose: To create a detective to solve the mystery in your story. When they are done, you may choose to have the students share their detectives, which could include acting out what it looks like when the detective has to face their fear, or overcome their weakness.

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HANDOUT 6: DETECTIVE DOSSIER

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HANDOUT 7: INVESTIGATION RECORD

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LESSON 4: CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? LESSON AT A GLANCE OBJECTIVE: Students will be able to write an effectively structured “suspenseful” paragraph to introduce their mystery story. DURATION: 50 minutes MATERIALS: Handout 8: Weird Words, Handout 9: Examples of “Setting the Scene,” writing paper, pencils, white board/smart board/chart paper/some other way of writing out student brainstorms and group model activities STANDARDS: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.3.B: Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.3.D: Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely. CA VAPA Theater, Grade Four: 1.3 Demonstrate how voice (diction, pace, and volume) may be used to explore multiple possibilities for a live reading. Examples: “I want you to go.” “I want you to go.” “I want you to go.” CONCEPTS/VOCABULARY: Suspense - a sense of excitement or anxiousness about what is going to happen next. GUIDING QUESTIONS: How can we structure our writing to keep the audience… ...in… ...suspense?

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LESSON PLAN Now comes the real challenge: actually writing a mystery! This lesson focuses on how to make the very beginning of the story as suspenseful and mysterious as possible. Let your students know that one of the fun things about writing a mystery is that the author is keeping secrets from the reader (for example: who the culprit is, how the mystery happened, what the detective will discover next, etc). The key to writing a good mystery is all in how you reveal those secrets: one...small...detail...at...a...time. If you let the reader know everything all at once, the mystery won’t last very long! You’ve got to tease the reader with little clues, but not reveal the true secret behind your mystery until you get to the end of the story. This is called keeping the reader in “suspense,” which is a lot of fun to do! Warm Up Discussion: What is Suspense? Lead a class discussion on the topic of “suspense” to find out what your students already know about it. What does “suspense” mean to you? Why would you want “suspense” in a mystery story? What are some examples of books, movies, or other stories you know where the audience is kept waiting in suspense about what will happen next? Mini Lesson: In a Spooky House The students will play a game to practice how to keep an audience in...suspense. Before you begin, you can distribute Handout 8 to the students, and let them know that during the game, you will be using some vocabulary words from this list. Ask them to listen carefully and see if they can spot what words you use. Tell the students that you’re going to act out a story as a whole class. Everyone can act in unison, walking in place, keeping their own personal space, and following along with your narration. That narration should be an example of “suspense”. Here is one example of how this might go: “Ok kids, we’re opening the door of an old, abandoned house. The door creaks open-creeeeaaakkkkk--and the hallway is so dark you can’t see in front of you. You step forward slowly, the floorboards moaning with your every step, your hands guiding you along the wall of the ancient, crooked hallway. Suddenly your hand touches something peculiar. It’s gooey, and sticky...and there’s something underneath the gooeyness...it’s...it’s...a lightswitch! But someone covered it in cake! When you switch on the light, all your friends jump out and say “Surprise! Happy birthday!” You can make up your own version, with a completely different story, but the main points to keep in mind are as follows: • Speak in a slow, mysterious, tone of voice, as if you are revealing a deep, dark secret. • Describe lots of details about a setting. Some might be spooky, some might be more mundane, but as you describe them, build up the sense of mystery in your voice until you reveal... • Something weird, peculiar, uncanny! Take a look at Handout #8, for some vocabulary used to describe weird, unexpected clues or events in a mystery. Choose at least one of these words to introduce in this game, and after you’ve finished, ask the students to identify which word you used from the list. Have a short discussion about what the word means. • Usually each round of the game ends with a surprising, non-threatening discovery. (It was a surprise party! Or, the noises were the cat knocking something over! etc). This just goes to show, you can build up suspense about anything--in fact, in lots of mysteries, there will be a scene THE BROAD STAGE AT THE SANTA MONICA COLLEGE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER THEBROADSTAGE.ORG/EDUCATION 1310 11TH ST., SANTA MONICA, CA 90401 / 310.434.3560

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where this exact kind of thing happens: you get the audience built up into a state of suspense, but then it’s a relief when it was all just the cat! This also will help to catch the reader off guard later, when you build up the suspense about something much, much weirder than a cat… If you wish, you can do several rounds of this game, and even challenge student volunteers to follow your example and lead a round. Just be sure to have them also choose a “weird” word from Handout #8.

MAIN ACTIVITY: SETTING THE SCENE Tell the students that you’re going to take some of the concepts about “suspense” you just explored, and apply them to writing the very beginning of a mystery story. (This activity will be most effective if you have completed at least Lesson 1: How to Create a Mystery, above). Distribute Handout 9: Setting the Scene to the students. Read the model paragraphs aloud, and have a discussion about the way each paragraph is structured. Be sure that the students notice all of the following: • Each paragraph describes a setting, using lots of sensory details, for 3-4 sentences. • Near the very end of the paragraph, there is suddenly a clue about something wrong in the setting: something MISSING, or something WEIRD that DOESN’T BELONG there. A “weird” vocabulary word from Handout #8 is used to introduce this clue. • The final sentence does NOT come right out and say what is wrong in the setting. It provides a clue (maybe only a really tiny clue), and leaves the reader in suspense to learn more in the next paragraph. Work together with your class to write a paragraph as a whole group, in which you “set the scene” for a mystery story. You can start by choosing a mystery scenario you created in Lesson 1, and then call on students one at a time to contribute sentences to build the paragraph, following the guidelines from the model paragraphs in Handout 9. When writing this group paragraph, you should also be sure to skip lines in between sentences. You’ll be asking students to skip lines in their own writing, so that later if they want to change some of what they’ve written, or add in new details, they will have plenty of room in between the lines to do that. After the group paragraph, the students will each write their own opening paragraph. These paragraphs definitely may provide even more sensory details about the setting than we modeled, but must be at least 3-4 sentences long, and end with a suspenseful detail that introduces the mystery, along with a “weird” vocabulary word. TAKE IT FURTHER: EXPAND YOUR VOCABULARY

Before students write their own paragraph, watch these two videos to learn new ways to say, “bad” and “said” with the Story Pirates. Cast Out Common Words: Bad https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPqxSi1pZfg&t=0s&list=PL3BuRs2UOCoR8LIG7LHpK7pSqHJ6VWHH&index=6 Cast Out Common Words: Said https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atTXyTvRdrA&index=4&list=PL3BuRs2UOCoR8LIG7LHpK7p SqH-J6VWHH THE BROAD STAGE AT THE SANTA MONICA COLLEGE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER THEBROADSTAGE.ORG/EDUCATION 1310 11TH ST., SANTA MONICA, CA 90401 / 310.434.3560

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Task: Write a suspenseful first paragraph of a mystery story. Assessment Criteria: • The setting is described in detail using the 5 senses. • At the end of the paragraph, you hint that there is something out of the ordinary...but leave the reader in suspense about exactly what it is. • At least one “weird” vocabulary word is used appropriately. Purpose: To write a first paragraph that “sets the scene” and pulls the reader in with a suspenseful detail. To share their work, students can read their opening paragraphs, with a focus on reading them in a mysterious, suspenseful voice, as modeled in the mini lesson. STUDENT REFLECTION Ask students to reflect on their experience of writing part of a mystery story. You can lead a class discussion or ask students to journal independently. What did you learn about yourself and your writing throughout this process? What did you learn about mystery stories? Did anything surprise you? Will you incorporate any of the writing skills you used to create your mystery into other stories you are writing?

TAKE IT FURTHER!

We hope you have found these lessons useful in setting up your students to write a mystery story! If you want additional ideas to support your students as they continue writing, check out the Story Pirates’ book, Digging Up Danger. Based on an idea from a real kid, and adapted into a full length mystery novel by New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline West, it also includes the “Mystery Creation Zone,” which is a guide packed full of advice for young mystery writers. There you’ll find some of the material contained in these lesson plans, plus much much more. For more info, please visit https://www.storypirates.com/books

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HANDOUT 8: WEIRD WORDS

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HANDOUT 9: EXAMPLES OF “SETTING THE SCENE”

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GLOSSARY 5 senses - the faculties of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. Clue - a piece of evidence or information used in the detection of a crime or solving of a mystery. Culprit - a person who is responsible for what is missing or what went wrong. Detective - a character trying to solve a mystery. Investigate - to find out the facts about something in order to learn how it happened or who did it. Mystery - for our purposes, a mystery is something either missing, or weird and unexplained, within the setting. Setting - where and when the story takes place. Suspense - a sense of excitement or anxiousness about what is going to happen next.

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Profile for The Broad Stage

The Story Pirates: The Show is Missing! (Grades 3-5)  

The Story Pirates: The Show is Missing! (Grades 3-5)