Mystery Week!

Week 7 e-learning at St. Joseph Catholic School

When will the pandemic end? It's a mystery!

Hello SJS Friends,

I am always on the look out for a book that keeps me guessing and adding up the clues! I am one of millions of "arm chair detectives" who enjoy solving puzzles and mysterious events in the comfort of my own home! Read on to find out more about some famous detectives, links to some good mystery reads, watch a few mysterious videos, find a recipe for invisible ink, learn about codes and ciphers, Eucharistic miracles, and find a joke or two....what else? Go investigate!

We have been under quarantine for seven whole weeks! When will it be over? The waiting is not easy! You have told me that the not-knowing is frustrating, annoying, scary, and boring. Yes. Yes. Yes, and Yes. All of your feelings are real and can be overwhelming at times. "Do not fear, I have overcome the world!" These are Jesus's words to each of us from John 16:33. While the circumstances we find ourselves seem strange, we can find comfort in the wisdom of the saints and scriptures. "God knows how he makes good use of the bad, so that everything that comes to be and is accomplished in the world is the will of the Almighty!" ~St. Thomas Aquinas. "All will be well. All will be well. All will be very well." ~St.Teresa of Avila.

Keep looking for good things which is one way God let's us know he is near and wants us to trust in him. And if you need a concrete sign, watch The SGN Show that actor John Krasinski has put out for the past few weeks! The link takes you to Episode 4.

Be good. Pray always. Remember: You are loved.

~Mrs. Moschetto

Let's start at the very beginning....

What is the link between George Washington and 7-11?

Mystery stories often include SPIES, CODES, and SECRET MESSAGES. In fact, there are many books out there that are based on TRUE EVENTS that include all of these things!

Have you heard about the spy ring called the Culper Ring? The leader? The First Commander and Chief himself, George Washington! (Read more about his spying at Mt.Vernon Website) or investigate the Young Readers Edition of The Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade.

Don't have time for a whole book? Learn how invisible ink, secret code names, and the elusive Agent 355 were central to winning the American Revolution in This article . A Fast-paced read for history and mystery buffs.

Pinkerton Detective Agency, Kate Warne, and the first "Private Eye"

Kate Warne the first Woman hired by a Private Detective Agency!

Kate Warne was the first female detective hired by the Pinkerton Detective Agency. She has become the gold standard for female detective characters due to accounts of her energy, intelligence, bravery, and for the fact that she WORKED during a time when women working outside the home was highly unusual! Watch the short video about one of her great adventures below. But first...

Read the 10 Facts about the Pinkerton Detective Agency HERE.

Want to know more? Investigate these books:

How Kate Warne Saved President Lincoln by Elizabeth Van Steenwyke A picture book with beautiful illustrations!

The Detective's Assistant by Kate Hannigan This novel for middle grade readers

or READ THIS BOOK ON EPIC: Kate Warne Pinkerton Detective by Marissa Moss.

The Female Detective Who Saved Lincoln’s Life

"Let us proclaim the mystery of faith!"

Imagine you were living in the year 28 when Jesus walked the earth and performed many many miracles. What would your reaction have been to see a cripple suddenly get up and walk or a girl come back to life? Would you have investigated the Miracle Man? If you did, would you have understood the meanings of these amazing events? Those gifts were one way Jesus helps us understand his great love and mercy.

The miracle continues each week at mass when the bread and wine become the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus! Read the articles below and watch the movie about Eucharistic miracles, a mystery that reminds us to keep the faith!

Read about Four Eucharistic Miracles HERE.

Scientific Evidence of Eucharistic Miracles

Learn about and view the Shroud of Turin

The Shroud of Turin is believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus. It has been widely studied but remains a mystery. Read about it and examine it for yourself HERE. Photo credit, Jim Linwood from the Museum of the Shroud of Turin.

A Mystery Story for Everyone!

Practice your problem solving with these page turners!

Magic Tree House Adventures coming to you!

"Join Jack and Annie on exciting adventures—come face to face with animals in strange lands, do battle with warriors across time, get swept up by nature’s force, and win big alongside famous sports heroes—all from the comfort of your home!

Each week, Magic Tree House Home Adventures will feature videos from Mary Pope Osborne, activities, craft ideas, themed recipes, reading challenges, cross-curricular lessons, Family Trivia Night game ideas, fun surprises, and much more!" Use the link HERE.

How Well Do You Know Your Detectives?

A 12 question quiz for grades 4-8 on famous kid lit detectives.

Animal Track Detective! | Science for Kids


Mirriam-Webster defines this term: the study of and search for animals and especially legendary animals (such as Sasquatch) usually in order to evaluate the possibility of their existence

Megan Borgert-Spaniol even wrote a book for kids on the subject!

And Meslissa Savage wrote an award winning novel with sasquatch as a central character, LEMONS. It was a Battle of the Books selection this year. Try them. You'll like them!

Mystery or Hoax? Get the facts!

Alien Jokes Found HERE


It's Elementary!

Sherlock Holmes: Intelligent, clever, and always a step ahead of dangerous criminals, Sherlock has continued to fascinate readers and writers since the early 1800s! He is also the literary detective who has sprouted the most spin offs, from the Young Sherlock, a sister, a young wife, and a niece!

Take a TOUR of the famous residence, 221B Baker Street HERE! On this website, you can also take a quiz to see how much you know about Holmes. I scored 10/12 and was given "Watson Level."

If you would like read a book inspired by the Great Sherlock Holmes, here is a list to get you started. Suggested grade levels are given to assist you in finding just the right book for you. Click the title to read a summary of the book/series. These titles are just the tip of the iceberg; feel free to search for more Sherlock spin offs. I've read all of the books below and give them each two thumbs up!

Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus (A mouse who lives at 221B solves crimes) (Grades 2-4)

Enola Holmes Mysteries by Nancy Springer (She's Sherlock's little sister!) (Grades 3-5)

Sherlock Academy by F.C.Shaw (Kids living in London learning the skills) (Grades 4-6)

On the Case with Holmes and Watson by Murray Shaw, MJ (Graphic Novel versions the most famous of the original stories!)(Grades 4-7)

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro (Present day relation of Dr. Watson meets the great-great-great- granddaughter of the famous detective! ) Grade 7 and Up --*YA title)

The Bee Keeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King (Sherlock takes a wife and their adventures begin!) (For Adults)

Guess the object

If you used a magnifying glass, this is what you would see. Can you guess all 12?


All the Pinkerton detectives (and later, scientists) were given instructions on how to be tenacious, patient, and observant. Mostly, they were given practice in developing their powers of observation! You can practice your observation skills by setting up a DISCOVERY TRAY. Here is what you will need:

1 magnifying glass

5-10 household objects: paper clip, feather, rock, seed, flowers, sticks, leaves, a marble, buttons, yarn, crayon, salt or sand, drops of water or liquid soap in a small clear dish...what else?

  • Lay all the items on a tray or cookie sheet
  • Take turns looking at each object with the magnifying glass
  • Which items look similar ? Why?
  • What do you see that you cannot see with your own eye?
  • Describe the object and see if a friend can guess it.

MAKE IT A GAME!: Before you examine the items with your magnifying glass: study them for 2 minutes before removing the tray from sight. How many items can you remember? Switch the items around and test a friend! Who has the better memory? I've included a tray for you to try this with: see the photo below! View the photo...then see how many objects you remember!

I SPY or MEMORY GAME : Use this photo for either game or make your own!

Big picture

Make your own invisible ink!

What you need:

  • pieces of white paper
  • newspaper
  • 1 bottle of water (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Tablespoon of baking soda
  • 2 small cups
  • cotton swabs or a thin paint brush
  • 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (a spice)

1. Combine 1/2 cup of water and baking soda in a cup.

2. Lay out the newspaper and place the blank paper on top.

3. Dip the cotton swab or paintbrush in the mixture and write your message on the paper

4. While the ink dries, combine the alcohol and turmeric in the second cup. Mix well.

5. The second mixture becomes the REAGENT. Dip a second swab in the reagent and rub over the paper. Did the message appear?

Experiment with the amount of ink you use? Besides a cotton swab, what else could you use as your writing instrument? Where might you hide your secret message?


We often speak of mysteries as things to be solved but what about as something we can create ourselves?

Codes and ciphers have been around a long time , often created to keep hidden or confidential political or military secrets, but more often as a means of communication when the spoken word was not possible.

What's the difference?

1. Both are part of what is called CRYPTOGRAPHY: the enciphering and deciphering of messages in secret code or cipher

2. All codes are ciphers, but not all ciphers are codes.

3. James Bond was given a code name: 007. George Washington was 711. The numbers stood for his entire name. That is how a code works: direct substitution. Code can be simple like MORSE CODE, and some may be very complicated like certain computer codes. The Navy uses SEMAPHORE, a system of flag positions to spell out words.

4. A cipher is a code that changes or substitutes smaller pieces of information and includes a shifting or transposing. Ciphers may be simple, like the CAESAR cipher or very complicated like ENIGMA.

5. Not all codes are used for secrecy, but ciphers are exclusively for secretive communications.

Videos to help you understand CODES and CIPHERS

See and Hear MorseCode 2
The Caesar cipher | Journey into cryptography | Computer Science | Khan Academy
How did the Enigma Machine work?

Make your own cipher wheel! Download the form below.

The Bottle Flipping Song - Flip It Trending Songs - Funny Song about Kids flipping bottles