Some students at Klondike Middle School are trying their hand at what has made authors Agatha Christie, Stephen King and John Grisham famous—mysteries. English Teacher Kristy Dice has assigned her eighth grade honor students to write their own mysteries.
This activity also reflects lessons learned during last year's pandemic influences. Dice recognized the focus students had using Google Meet last year when interacting with external guests and chose to maintain that format with SEEDS Director Kathy Nimmer this year rather than having her in the classroom. This innovative use of technology to increase efficiency and productivity makes the mystery assignment even more valuable.
“Students should be learning how to craft a story that follows the traditional plot diagram of a short story,” says Dice. “The biggest struggle seems to be ending the story in a way that makes sense and ties everything together. Students are also learning about working in groups, giving constructive criticism and time management.”
Student Caleb Johnson is writing about a group of students who hang out after school and decide to go into an abandoned hospital: “When they get in the hospital the doors lock behind them. They try to find an exit but can’t find one. They don’t realize that their friend Zach fell behind. They hear something. They follow it, and find their friend but it is too late.”
Madeline Nelson’s story is set at an old amusement park in a small Louisiana town: “On each ride that has been running by itself, a blue, creepy stuffed animal is found riding on the ride. Skylar, the protagonist, has anxiety and gets really scared by all of these odd events. She and Ava, her new friend, have to team up and discover who is committing the crime, and why, in order to put Skylar at ease and allow the amusement park to reopen smoothly.”