Somebody Killed Mr. Boddy
- Students will be able to develop a character for a story.
- Students will be able to write a fictional news story detailing characters and events in sequence.
Introduction (10 minutes)
- Tell the students that they are going to be writing a story based on the game Clue.
- Show students the game Clue and ask if anyone has ever played.
- Explain to the students that in the game, guests attend a party together and the host, Mr.Boddy, ends up murdered. The goal of the game is to determine the murderer through deductive reasoning.
- Introduce the characters in the game by showing students the game cards and the playing pieces.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (20 minutes)
- Show the students Professor Plum's card and game piece.
- Tell students you are going to develop the character of Professor Plum.
- Draw a circle on the board and write Professor Plum inside it. Then draw lines connecting three additional circles to the name circle. These should be labeled: appearance, background and personality traits.
- Look at the card showing the picture of Professor Plum and use the picture to fill out the appearance section of the graphic organizer.
- Explain to students that this part is easy because you have a picture to look at.
- For the personality traits, ask the students what kind of personality one must have to be a professor. Use some of their suggestions to list some details in the personality section of the graphic organizer.
- For the last section, background, tell the students that they are going to have to be creative and develop some ideas to tell about the character's history or background. Fill some of these ideas in.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (25 minutes)
- Erase the details in your graphic organizer, leaving the organizer itself.
- Put the class into five groups and assign each group one of the remaining characters from the game: Colonel Mustard, Miss Scarlet, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, and Mrs. White.
- Give each team the corresponding character card and game piece.
- Tell students to copy the graphic organizer from the board and complete it on their assigned character. Each student in the group will need their own paper but they may work together to develop the character.
- Circulate through the room and help where needed as students develop their character.
Independent Working Time (30 minutes)
- Tell students to assume their character has committed the murder of Mr. Boddy.
- Ask the students to use the character development graphic organizer to write a newspaper article stating that the murder had happened and explaining why their character did it. They must use the background and character traits from their graphic organizer to develop this story.
- For advanced students, have them work with a partner from a different team to debate which character is more likely to be the murderer.
- For students working below grade level, have them organize their ideas in bullet points instead of writing a complete story.
Assessment (60 minutes)
- Have the students play the game of Clue. Instead of individuals being characters, teams will represent the characters.
- When the game has ended and a murderer has been discovered, have students write a character sketch detailing the murderer including background and personality traits.
Review and Closing (10 minutes)
- Ask students why they think it is important to develop characters when writing stories or fictional articles.