The Mystery Unit


Decorating the classroom/props

Decorating for the Mystery Unit begins with removing our 6 foot wooden swordfish from the room.  I then set up a “CSI: Santa Monica” crime scene in the room using tempera paint to leave hand and footprints all over the room and there is police caution tape everywhere.  You can get police tape from any police station if you tell them you are a kindergarten teacher embarking on a classroom mystery!



Mystery Morning Work:

Objective:  Fine motor, copying, vocabulary reinforcement

Simply copy the computer vocabulary words on the lines below.  The kids do this assignment first thing in the morning while everyone is arriving.


Missing Poster

Objective:  Fine motor, letter formation

The students draw and write in the words for

cute “missing” posters


Listening Center/Reading Circle

Objective:  Book skills, emergent reading

I have found great Scooby Doo Picture Clue

books for the kids to read during this unit.



Ransom Notes

Objective:  Fine motor cutting, letter and

number recognition, reading

The kids have to decipher the hidden

message of the day and cut out the

correct letter and put them in the

right order.  You could always do

this exercise without the cutting

aspect, they can just write the

letters in.  However, if you do

include the cutting you know have

one exercise that includes letter

recognition, number recognition,

fine motor (cutting) and the reading

once the message is complete.


Mystery Word

Objective:  Copying, brainstorming, phonics

This is when the kids are introduced to Mystery Word.  During this unit we brainstorm words that start with a different letter each day.  For example the first day of the unit I will tell the kids that today's mystery word starts with the letter “B”.  The kids brainstorm all the B words while the adult writes them on the board for them to copy.  I then reveal the mystery word after rotation is over.


Guess Who?

Objective:  Fine motor, process of elimination, verbal engagement, following rules

Guess who is the single greatest way I have seen to teach the kids the process of elimination.  It is also forces the kids to interact with each other.  The game teaches kids different vocabulary words such as moustache, beard, bald...  I have 3 of the games lined up on table for 6 people to play (5 kids and 1 adult)



Mug Shots/Suspect Sheets

Objective:  Fine motor, writing, brainstorming

I have the students draw pictures of each other or the adult working in class.  I have them draw the person straight on and then a profile of the person.  These pictures turn out very cute.


Mystery Cutters

Objective:  Fine motor, puzzle solving

The students reassemble pictures of the missing swordfish and a wanted poster of the suspect.


Scooby Doo Vocabulary Sheet

Objective:  Fine motor, vocabulary recognition,

The students fill in the names of the Scooby Doo characters.


Rocky Dot-to-dot

Objective:  Fine motor, number recognition

The students complete the dot-to-dots up to 30.


Rocky Art (copying)

Objective:  Fine motor

It is great for kids to copy pictures that are right in front of them.



Objective:  Curiosity

Teaching the kids about fingerprints and how there are different 3 different kinds of fingerprints (loops, arcs and whorls) makes them feel like crime solving detectives.



Missing Swordfish Mural:

Objective:  Fine motor

I will draw the outline before we begin and we will finish this mural in one rotation.



Helpful/Interesting Web sites:


















































































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