July 22, 2015
by Susan Meynell
Lesson Plan:

Super Sleuth

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Students will be able to make observations and express them textually or visually.

(5 minutes)
  • Conduct a brief review of what Nate the Great does in his story.
  • As a class, brainstorm a list of words used to describe a detective. Some great examples are: smart, observant, curious.
(10 minutes)
  • Introduce the concept of a sleuth. Explain that a sleuth is like a detective. He looks for clues and observes things quietly.
  • Ask students to share traits that would make someone a good sleuth and traits that would make someone a bad sleuth.
  • Tell them that for today, they will each become a "super sleuth."
  • Pick out a name from the bowl of paper strips.
  • Quickly model how to track this person's characteristics in covert ways. Write one or two short observations, e.g. "has short hair" or "has brown eyes," on the board.
  • Give each student a sheet of paper and a clipboard. Students will use these to record their observations.
(10 minutes)
  • Model how students will present their findings.
  • Each sleuth will have an opportunity to come up to the front of the room and present his clues one by one.
  • After each clue, classmates will have the opportunity to raise their hands and ask questions. After asking a question, a student may make one guess of which student they think is being described.
  • After each successful guess, a new sleuth comes up.
(20 minutes)
  • Have each student pick a name from the bowl. (If a student chooses his own, have him return it and choose another name.) The name each student chooses is his target for the activity.
  • Give students about 15 minutes to observe one another and write down clues.
  • Enrichment: If students need more of a challenge, design a scoring system for clues, and have students aim to get high scores by giving clues that are as clear and detailed as possible.
  • Support: Struggling students can be asked to draw their clues instead of writing them.
(20 minutes)
  • Begin the guessing portion of the activity.
  • Have students share their clues, ask questions, and make guesses until time is up.
  • Watch them during the activity to assess how well they understand the main concepts of the lesson.
(10 minutes)
  • Review the meaning of the word "sleuth."
  • Allow students to tape their clue lists onto a large poster board for display.

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