To end our unit on writing mysteries, I decided to do something BIG to get them excited about what to write and how to write it! With the help of my good friend Seth Higginbottom, I got some crime scene tape to help rope off a section of the classroom. By the time the students returned from Art, we had a murder mystery on our hands! I got shoes from Mrs. Brown so that I could make some "muddy footprints" on the white paper. I used some red paint for "blood" and left clues throughout the room. Bloody handprints on the walls, bathroom doors, fingerprints on the paper towel machines, and then washed it off in the sinks and left a little residue. This helped them to correctly fill out their "clues" section in their graphic organizer. We talked about how it was in the girls bathroom AND in the boys bathroom. Someone said, "It must have been at least 1 boy and 1 girl." I then asked them about distractions. Another student piped in and said it could have been a girl and she left fingerprints and blood in the boys bathroom to "throw us off". WOW... I totally wanted them to get that and they did!