Lesson plan

Super Sleuth

Your little detectives will love stretching their observation muscles in this lesson on sleuthing and finding clues. After paying close attention to their classmates, they'll make lists of clues and use them in a fun-filled guessing game.
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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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