Carolina Gallegos – Drama teacher
Clara González – Year 6 English Language teacher assistant
Karen Roberts – Year 6 English Language teacher
Phase 2: Mystery Stories
After having inspired a literate environment with our previous phase, our next phase consisted on a genre study. Both in fourth and in fifth grade, the students had had author’s studies which helped them in the analysis of the genre. During the library period, they were exposed to different mystery stories, from classic novels to short stories which were available in paper and audio format. Their objective was to read as many mystery stories as possible and arrive to the conclusion of what characteristics a mystery story must have to be considered one. Students spontaneously began interacting with each other, giving their own opinion and sharing their findings. With the information gathered we were able to create a presentation answering the following questions: What is a mystery story? Why do people enjoy them? What elements must be present to be able to consider it a mystery? What is the role of suspense in a mystery story and how do we create it? In addition, we were also able to categorize mystery stories into historical mysteries, detective mysteries, humorous mysteries, fantasy mysteries and problem and puzzle mysteries. Through this activity they were able to enhance their literature appreciation and develop their understanding and analysis of the genre.
After the analysis was complete, it was time for the students to write their own mystery story. They got into teams in order to write collaboratively and the first thing they had to decide was what type of mystery story they wanted to write. Then they planned their story making sure the elements we had mentioned earlier were present. This was a very enriching experience since they took advantage of each other’s strengths and their fluency and creativity were enhanced. Students really enjoyed working together and were able to work on each other’s ideas, inspired by all the stories they had read during the library period.