A Life filled with Literacy
A newsletter for Saint Anne School (Oct. 2017)
By: Nicole Hughes, Literacy Coach
At St. Anne School, our students are fortunate to have the chance to read and appreciate numerous genres of literature. Our classroom teachers and our librarian, Mrs. Bush, help our children fall in love with reading every day! For October, it feels fitting to focus on MYSTERY books. Read below for more information on why the mystery genre matters and to get some great recommendations.
The mystery genre is a great way to engage students in reading. Mysteries help build comprehension skills and improve critical thinking.
Mysteries keep the attention of the reader! No matter what the age, students will want to solve a good whodunit. An unsolved mystery can take place anywhere, so this genre will take students all over the world.
Critical Thinking & Deductive Reasoning
When reading a mystery, students must use facts and reasoning to come to an opinion. They will use logic to analyze the mystery, evaluate possible solutions, and follow sequential steps to arrive at a conclusion. These same steps are required in any problem-solving situation.
The mystery genre introduces students to multiple text types, new vocabulary, and gives plenty of content to ask comprehension questions. You can ask your children: "who, what, where, when, and why" questions with a mystery. Or delve deeper and ask students to make a connection between themselves and the story, form an opinion and express a personal point of view, or compare two characters.
If you don't have time to read an entire mystery novel, try short mystery books, like: Two Mysteries or Short Mysteries You Solve With Science. These would be great family read-alouds! Each chapter takes less than five minutes and initiates critical thinking and deep discussions.
Suggestions for Reading Aloud
alphabet mystery (Preschool- K)
Encyclopedia Brown (1st-4th)
Encyclopedia Brown is Idaville neighborhood’s ten-year-old star detective. With an uncanny knack for trivia, he solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids. With ten confounding mysteries in each book, not only does Encyclopedia have a chance to solve them, but the reader is given all the clues as well.
A-Z Mysteries (1st-4th)
A is for Author . . . A famous writer is coming to Green Lawn! Dink rushes to the bookstore to meet his favorite author, Wallis Wallace, and get all his books signed. But the author never shows up! It’s up to Dink and his friends to track him down.
With over 8 million copies in print, the A to Z Mysteries have been hooking chapter book readers on mysteries and reading for years! PLUS, each book is usually less than $4!
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life (Middle School)
Eight Keys (Family Read-Aloud)
When Elise and Franklin start middle school, things feel all wrong. Bullying. Not fitting in. Franklin suddenly seems babyish. Then, soon after her 12th birthday, Elise receives a mysterious key left for her by her father. A key that unlocks one of the eight doors upstairs in the bar . . .
The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Audio choice)
Literacy in action at SAS
I am working on a mini unit with the preschool students; we have covered animal hair and now we read a book about animal teeth. Our youngest students made shark crafts with shark teeth!
4th Grade Scary Stories