Friday, August 10, 2012

Back to School A-Z Mystery Style

Grab yourself a snack because this is going to be a long post.  :0)  I’m going to work backward a bit as I show you how I will be implementing the A-Z Mystery Series into my classroom. 

First off, I found a wonderful resource for this series.  Amazingly enough, it is Ron Roy’s {the author or A-Z Mysteries} website,  Check it out!  He has stuff for kids, parents, and teachers.  It’s great!  What is SUPER great is that at the end of the 26 book series you can go back and do A-Z Mystery Trivia.  How great is that?  I totally can't wait!

So...the first week of school is super hectic as we all know.  I plan on beginning this series a few weeks in, as soon as everything/everyone is all settled and all of the routines have been taught.  I will be reading to the kids during their snack time and they will complete a reading response (see other posts about this) piece at the end of the chapter(s) and snack time. 

Before hopping into the series with The Absent Author, I thought I would do a few little pre-series activities that would include an introduction to the series, an author study about Ron Roy to learn a little bit about him and his life as an author. Ron Roy also has a pet dog, which I thought the students would enjoy.  I would also include a meet the characters activity, and a little map of Green Lawn activity. 

So, on Monday, I will introduce the book series by showing the students my 26 books in the series and discussing what we will be doing during snack time for the rest of the year.  I will set some expectations for this time.  If you have not purchased all of the books and you will be buying them/checking the out one at a time, you can go to Ron Roy's website and click the home page and select A-Z Mysteries and learn about each book.  Once that has been done, I will hand out their A-Z Mystery Reading Response Journals and allow them to decorate them to add their own little "spark".

On Tuesday I will introduce Ron Roy by going to his website, showing the kids his "welcome" page that has a letter to them, showing them the "about Ron Roy" page as well as "Pal's doggie page".  Then as a response page, I would have them complete this author study recording sheet. This page would get glued into their journals.  

 Click here to get your recording sheet FREEBIE!

On Wednesday, I will have the students meet the characters of the series.  We {as a class} will read about the characters by going to Ron Roy's website again and click on "games for kids" and look at the A-Z Mystery Menu.  We will select "read about the characters"and scroll over top of the pictures to read about them.  I will then give the students a character color sheet for them to color and label the characters.  Print Yours HERE from the Ron Roy website.  This page will also be glued into their A-Z Mystery Journals.

On Thursday and Friday we will be doing some mapping activities with the maps of Green Lawn from the books.  I will gather all of my books, give each student a book, and have them turn to the maps at the beginning of the book.  The maps are right after the title page.  If you do not have enough books for each kiddo to have one, you could project it on the screen with a document camera.  On Thursday we would just note some of the areas of green Lawn and make any connects to the town that we could such as "I see they have a town hall.  We have a town hall too." etc.  On Friday we will again look at the maps and have a short discussion on the compass rose (north, south, east, and west).  I (the teacher) will call out a place for the students to locate.  Once the students locate that place we can discuss what is north or south, etc. of each location that I call out. 

I hope you found some ideas that you can do in your classroom as well.

Coconut Cutie

P.S.  Check back NEXT Monday for another update.  This Monday there will not be a post.  Thanks!


  1. Just found your blog clicking from another...oh, my goodness I love your A-Z mystery series. Think I have most of them, so am really looking forward to your Monday posts!

  2. Excellent! I am so pleased you like it.


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