Sanfordville students develop mystery plays, board games


Sanfordville students develop mystery plays, board games

February 9, 2024

Students in Veronica DeGuisto’s Grade 3/4 PIE class at Sanfordville Elementary School created mysteries for their parents to unravel on Friday. The students, who had been learning about the mystery genre, developed their own mystery plays to perform and board games to play. Parents were invited into the classroom to participate in the sleuthing.

The students had been reading mystery books and learning about what makes up a mystery as well as the thought process and writing that is involved in the development of mysteries. They learned vocabulary words, such as motive, opportunity, witness, alibi and suspect. They wrote essays off of books they were reading and later created plays and designed board games as projects as performance tasks.

She asked them to write a play and design a board game that has a mystery involved and suspects. They need to include clues and evidence, figuring out who did it by pairing down clues and eliminating suspects like a detective would do in an actual investigation.

“It was challenging for them and for me, even as an adult, to start with what you want the crime to be and who you want to do it and then work backwards and make the clues hard but not too hard. And, you know, make the evidence there, but not glaring.”

She also said a challenge was to determine how their characters would interact without giving away the mystery. “It took a lot of brain power, a lot of really critical thinking and debating of what hints to include and how to lead them through the characters.”


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