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Mysterious Findings

Page history last edited by MrsK Books 3 years, 3 months ago

Welcome to all things mysterious,

For the majority of mystery readers there are a few selective authors that have laid out the steps of writing a "perfect" mystery. Names like Poe, Holmes, and Christie are not just classical authors. Their stories might be the very "red-herring" in which they have expertly woven into their criminal plots. In real life, much of their investigative insights, discoveries, and scientific evidence has been the source for "true crime" investigators.


Enjoy the articles and links that will lead you beyond the crimes,


Without Edgar Allan Poe, we wouldn't have Sherlock Holmes

When Edgar Allan Poe first introduced the world to C. Auguste Dupin, he hit on a winning formula. Dupin was Sherlock Holmes before Sherlock Holmes. Dupin was a genius detective. He first appeared in "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." It was published in 1841. In that story, two women are dead. The game's afoot, as Holmes might say (Poe didn't give Dupin a nifty catchphrase.) More >        Lexile Levels: 640L 850L 1070L 1340L

Discussion Questions

Grades 3-4: Think about the detective stories you've read. How are all of the detectives alike? What are the biggest differences between them?

Grades 5-6: Why do you think the main character in detective stories is always portrayed as a kind of superhero? Why do you think there's always an "ordinary" helper?

Grades 7-8: According to the article, the first detective stories were murder mysteries. In what ways do you think the genre has expanded beyond that in modern literature? Give examples that support your ideas.

Grades 9-10: According to the article, detective stories took off in the nineteenth century because of people's "faith in reason and mistrust of appearance." Detective stories are still popular today. Do you think that's because people still live by these two instincts or do you think it's because of something else? Why?


Visit Smithsonian's Visual Learning lab:


Write a Mystery
Students will learn about the elements of a mystery story. Then they will select a scene, write character biographies and outline the plot. They will utilize these elements as they write their own mysteries.


Smithsonian Resources

 The (Still) Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe 
Edgar Allan Poe’s death, like his novels, was a mystery. Learn about the top nine theories in this Smithsonian article.


 Historians Are Detectives 
Use this lesson from the National Museum of American History to teach students the differences between primary and secondary sources as well as the value of primary sources in history. By using primary sources to answer a series of questions, students will see that, much like detectives, historians have to provide evidence to prove that their answers are correct.


 Mystery Skull Interactive 
In this activity from the National Museum of Natural History, students compare unknown fossils with previously identified ones in order to place them in the timeline of human evolution.


 Meet Me at Midnight 
This online game magically takes players to the Smithsonian American Art Museum after hours. In the museum, they find that the artworks are mixed up—all because of the troublesome Root Monster! To get back home, players must solve mysteries—and help their new friends find their artworks.


 Lost in the Coin Vault 
This interactive game from the National Museum of American History is a fun way for students to learn about currency and explore American history. Players enhance their analytical skills as they decipher clues and closely examine objects from the National Numismatics Collection to solve mysteries and escape from the coin vault.


 Take a Trip Through Edgar Allan Poe’s America 
From his birth in Boston to his death in Baltimore, check out places that were important to America’s favorite macabre author in this Smithsonian article.


 Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th Century Chesapeake 
This online exhibition from the National Museum of Natural History is based on the work of Smithsonian anthropologists working in the Chesapeake Bay area. It presents history through “bone biographies” of the colonists who teetered on the edge of survival at Jamestown, Virginia, and wealthy and well-established colonists of St Mary’s City, Maryland.


Taken from the Monday Morning Ready: Educators email and Tween Tribune website

on April 30, 2017 for the purpose of instruction.


As a life-long reader you experience the freedom of being your own teacher !

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