Kick-off Celebration: Mystery Parade!

Bulletin Board

Join the Mystery Parade!

Create mini-books with titles of children's mysteries. Enlarge clip art characters from the manual and place them on the bulletin board so that they appear to be reading titles of the mini-books. Make construction paper sunglasses and magnifying glasses to use as a border or as a path through your bulletin board.

Decorations

Tape spyglasses, question marks, and Sherlock Holmes style hats to the end of your bookshelves. Patterns here.

Refreshments

Package cookies or other snacks in small brown bags and seal them. Let the children guess what is inside. Place dry ice in a bucket to make the room look smoky and mysterious. (Be sure that the children don't have access to it as it sticks to skin.)

Nametags

Spyglasses & magnifying glass.

Books to Display and Booktalk

  • The Canary Caper by Ron Roy.
  • The Case of the Dumb Bells by Crosby N. Bonsall.
  • The Case of the Gasping Garbage by Michele Torrey.
  • The Case of the Stolen Baseball Cards by James Preller.
  • Clever Quicksolve Whodunit Puzzles: Mini-Mysteries for You to Solve by Jim Sukach.
  • The Copycat Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner.
  • Lu & Clancy's Crime Science by Louise Dickson.
  • Don't Be My Valentine: A Classroom Mystery by Joan M. Lexau.
  • Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Slippery Salamander by Donald J. Sobol.
  • Henry and Mudge and the Sneaky Crackers by Cynthia Rylant.
  • The High-Rise Private Eyes: the Case of the Climbing Cat by Cynthia Rylant.
  • Inspector Hopper by Doug Cushman.
  • Marty Frye, Private Eye by Janet Tashjian.

Fingerplays

Where Is Thumbkin?


Where is thumbkin, where is thumbkin?


Here I am, here I am.


How are you this morning? Very well, I thank you.


Run away, run away.

Where is pointer, where is pointer?


Here I am, here I am.


How are you this morning? Very well, I thank you.


Run away, run away.

Where is tall man, where is tall man?


Here I am, here I am.


How are you this morning? Very well, I thank you.


Run away, run away.

Where is ring man, where is ring man?


Here I am, here I am.


How are you this morning? Very well, I thank you.


Run away, run away.

Where is pinkie, where is pinkie?


Here I am, here I am.


How are you this morning? Very well, I thank you.


Run away, run away.

Where is the family, where is the family?


Here we are, here we are.


How are you this morning? Very well, we thank you.


Run away, run away.

Tommy Thumb

Reprinted with permission from the National Network for Child Care - NNCC. Labensohn, D. (1986). Finger Plays And Action Verses For Children. Ames, IA: Iowa State University.

Tommy Thumb,


Tommy Thumb


Where are you?


Here I am, here I am,


How do you do?

(Repeat the verse and substitute "Tommy Thumb" with 'Peter Pointer, ''Toby Tall", "Ruby Ring", "Baby Finger". End with "Finger Family - here we are.")

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Chant & Response Song

My Aunt Came Back

(Tell the children a short tale about your mysterious aunt who traveled all over the world and brought back many mysterious objects. Then, ask if they would like to know what the mystery items are. After they say yes, tell them to "Repeat these words after me and do what I do.")

Oh, my aunt came back,


From Holland too,


And she brought with her,


A wooden shoe.


(Action: Stamp your foot on the word 'shoe' and keep stamping)

Oh my aunt came back,


From Old Japan,


And she brought with her,


A waving fan.


(Action: Wave a fan and continue to stamp a foot)

Oh my aunt came back,


From Open Plain,


And she brought with her,


A walking cane.


(Action: Hold a cane and move both feet while waving a fan and stamping a foot)

Oh my aunt came back,


From near Kamloops


And she brought with her,


some hula hoops.


(Action: Move your hips like you are spinning a hula hoop, hold the cane, and move both feet while waving a fan and stamping a foot)

Oh my aunt came back,


From near Algiers,


And she brought with her,


some cutting shears.


(Action: Add a cutting motion, move your hips like you are spinning a hula hoop, hold the cane, and move both feet while waving the fan and stamping a foot)

Oh my aunt came back,


From New York fair,


And she brought with her,


a rocking chair.


(Action: Add a rocking motion, keep cutting, move your hips like you are spinning a hula hoop, hold a cane, and move both feet while waving a fan and stamping a foot)

Oh my aunt came back,


From Niagara Falls,


And she brought with her,


some ping pong balls.


(Action: Nod head back and forth, keep rocking, keep cutting, move your hips like you are spinning a hula hoop, hold a cane, and move both feet while waving a fan and stamping a foot)

Oh my aunt came back,


From Timbuktu


And she brought with her,


Some nuts like you!

Who Stole The Cookie From The Cookie Jar?

(Form the children into a circle. Clap twice, slap your legs twice, then clap twice again to form a rhythm pattern. Children repeat this and keep the beat while chanting the verse. If someone skips a beat or forgets the chant, then they need to enter the middle of the circle where they become part of the cookie jar. Repeat the chant until you have inserted each child's name.)

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?


(name) stole the cookie from the cookie jar.


Who me? Yes you! Couldn't be! Then who?

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We're Going On A Mystery Hunt

(Adapted by Rose Treviño. This is like "Going on a Bear Hunt". The children are seated as they start to slap their hands on their legs in a marching rhythm. Children repeat each line after the librarian.)

We're going on a mystery hunt!


What will we find?


We'll see.


Okay.


Let's go.


We're coming to a stream.


Can't go over it!


Can't go under it!


Got to swim through it!

(Make swimming motions, first freestyle, then the breast stroke, then the back stroke, etc. Shake yourselves dry when you get to the other side.)

We're coming to a bridge.


Can't go under it!


Can't go around it!


Have to march across it!

All right.


Okay.


Let's go.

(Stand up and start marching in place)

We're coming to a cactus patch.


Can't go under it!


Can't jump over it!


Have to walk through it!


All right.


Okay.


Let's go.

(Put your hands out in front and say "ooh aah ooh aah" as if you are being pricked by the cactus.)

We're coming to a forest.


Can't go under it!


Can't go around it!


Have to walk through it!


All right.


Okay.


Let's go.

(Close your eyes and pretend to feel around carefully)

Uh oh…


Something mysterious.


What could it be?


It's a strange creature!


RUN!!

(Pretend to run very fast while slapping on your legs as fast as you can. Run through the forest, go through the cactus patch and don't forget to say ooh aah ooh aah. Now march across the bridge rapidly, run and jump into the stream. Swim across as fast as you can doing as many strokes as you want.)

We made it!

Games and Activities

Mystery Boxes

Cover and decorate about five medium size boxes. Cut an opening large enough for a child to insert a hand. Place a mystery item, such as a sea shell, inside each box. Children put their hands in each box and try to guess what the items are by touching them. Place mystery boxes throughout the children's area or line up a group of them.

Guess Who?

List 10 clues about different book characters on a bulletin board or poster board. Display the books containing these characters scattered beside the clues. Ask your summer readers to solve the mysteries. Here is an example:

This young detective has a mind that works like an encyclopedia. Who is he?


Answer: Encyclopedia Brown.

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Where is it?

Pair the children and give each pair three colorful plastic cups and a cotton ball. One child lines up the three cups, puts a cotton ball under one of the cups, and then shuffles the three cups around. The other child guesses which cup has the cotton ball under it. Let each child take a turn shuffling the cups around.

Mystery Parade

Invite summer readers to a mystery parade. Encourage them to dress up as book characters for the event. Play eerie music as they march in and out of the book aisles and through the story time area. End their parade at the circulation desk where a mystery snack awaits them. Along their route, place boxes with big question marks on them. Place a question in each box and stop at each box and let one child read the question. The children must answer it before they proceed. These can be very simple questions such as "What happened to Humpty Dumpty?"

Fingerprints

Contact the police department and invite an officer to speak to the children about fingerprinting. If possible, ask them to fingerprint the entire group of children. If not, here is a simple way to give each child one fingerprint to take home.

Materials

  • A few sheets of newspaper
  • Scotch tape
  • Markers
  • Package of 3" X 5" unlined index cards
  • Magnifying glass

Directions

Distribute one index card and one marker to each child. Ask them to write their name on the index card. When finished, ask them to raise their hand and an adult will come by to get their fingerprint. Each child should be given a piece of newspaper. They will rub their finger back and forth on the newsprint. An adult will then take a piece of tape, place it sticky side down on the finger, peel off the tape with the fingerprint on it, and carefully place the tape on the index card to show the print. Let each child examine their fingerprint with the magnifying glass. Depending on the number of participants, you could do one or all ten prints for each child.

Mystery Camping Trip

Set up a large tent in the children's room or storytime room. On the outside of the tent, place a sign that says, "Solve it!" Light the inside with a camping lantern or flashlight. Invite each participant to bring a pillow to sit on inside the tent. Have the group sit closely together and ask them to listen carefully for clues. George Shannon has compiled a series of books with stories to solve. These include the following titles: Stories to Solve, More Stories to Solve, and Still More Stories to Solve. Each book includes folktales from around the world just waiting to be solved. Select a few to read on your mystery camping trip. Let the children will take turns reading stories using the camping lantern or flashlight. Here are a few suggestions for stories.

  • "Firefly and the Apes"
  • "A Lesson Well Learned"
  • "The Tallest Tale"

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Craft

Bite Prints

Materials

  • One half sheet of typing paper for each child
  • One half sheet of carbon paper for each child

Directions

Ask the children if they want to know what a bite print looks like. Then give them a piece of typing paper and a piece of carbon paper. Ask them to fold the typing paper in half and then fold the carbon paper in half. Then, instruct the children to place the folded carbon inside the folded typing paper with the carbon-side touching the inside of the folded paper. Next, instruct each child to place the folded paper between his/her teeth and bite down. When they remove it from their mouths, remove the carbon paper, and examine the typing paper, they will see their bite print. Let them compare theirs to others and look for similarities and differences.

Guest Presenter

Invite a local magician to perform and show the children some of the secrets to the tricks.

Videos

  • Maurice Sendak's Little Sherlock Bear. (34 minutes)
  • Scooby Doo's Greatest Mysteries. (109 minutes)

CD-ROMs

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?


Uses clues about world geography, history, and culture to help children track Carmen Sandiego and her gang as they steal some of the world's most famous landmarks and treasures.

Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?


Carmen and her V.I.L.E. henchmen travel through time as well as around the world, stealing historical treasures. The good guys use a time machine to track them down.

Carmen Sandiego: Junior Detective Edition.


Uses clues about world geography, history, and culture to help children track Carmen Sandiego and her gang as they steal some of the world's most famous landmarks and treasures.

Web Sites

The Boomer Wolf Web Site


www.boomerwolf.com/


Join the Boomer Wolf Detective Agency and help solve a case.

DangerMouse: The Greatest Secret Agent in the World


www.dangermouse.org/index2.html


Join DangerMouse, the Greatest Secret Agent in the World, along with his trusty sidekick Penfold in some secret adventures.

 



Texas Reading Club 2003 Programming Manual / Mission Possible Spy Book!


Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011