This fun and engaging mystery read aloud is a perfect March activity for your students! In this Readers’ Theater, students will learn a few detective skills and then use their sleuthing skills to figure out what’s going on at the St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt! 🍀
What’s going on in Shamrock?
The town of Shamrock is getting ready for their 25th annual St. Patrick’s Day Lucky Leprechaun Treasure Hunt. Legend says that every year a leprechaun in human disguise sneaks into the game and sabotages the players with her mischievous actions. Legend also says that this secret leprechaun is the reason that there has never been a winner in the 25 years that the game has been played.
Can your students figure out what’s going with these sneaky little leprechauns?
With lots of suspects and circumstantial evidence, the students will have to take good notes and make lots of inferences. This product was created with upper elementary students in mind, but it can definitely be scaled to work with other grade levels as well. So how does it work?
NOTE: This mystery is a little bit different than the rest of our mysteries. In the spirit of the mischievous leprechauns, there’s rhyming, scheming, misdirection, and a surprise twist. We think your students will love it!
The students will take part in a 4-act reader’s theater. There are 21 characters which can be shared or doubled up in order to give every student a part. As the story unfolds, so do the clues. After each act, the students will stop, take notes, and discuss any suspicious activities. The final act reveals who exactly is up to no good!
How long will this activity take?
Plan on at least a couple hours.* Reading the script will take at least an hour or so depending on the fluency of your readers and how well they are paying attention for their lines. Using the additional resources that are included will lengthen the amount of time. The more discussion and detective work the students do, the more fun the activity will be. This activity was designed to take up an entire ELA block of time, however, it can be spread out over a week’s time by completing one act a day. It’s a great spring activity or a way to make St. Patrick’s Day extra special
* If you have completed the other Whodunnits, this version will be about the same length as I try to keep the stories to about the same number of total words. However, this version does have less sleuthing than the other versions.
- Reader’s Theater script in 3 versions (printable, PowerPoint, or Google Slides)
- Lesson in circumstantial evidence and witness testimony
- 20 vocabulary words are sprinkled throughout the script
- Sheets to take notes and narrow down the suspects (plus a Google Slides Version)
- Poetry writing activity to create the perfect ending to the story
- Lots of rhyming!
Why Should You Use This?
I was inspired to create my first mystery product after hosting a murder mystery party for my own 16 year old daughter, who was very much into theater. It was said to be the best party ever! I wondered how I could create something similar for students! I modified the format of the clue delivery system to ensure that every clue was revealed to every student, and voila, Who Stole the Turkey was born. Since then, Who Stole Santa’s List, Who Left Us Cupcakes, Who Freed the Fish, and now Who’s Making Mischief has joined our list of fun classroom whodunnits.
Having the Reader’s Theater is the perfect platform for integrating real academic skills. This activity will feel like a fun day, but not a moment of the day will be wasted!
This product is great because:
- It’s super engaging
- It targets real skills to help students grow in reading and writing
- It helps students enhance their inferencing skills
- There’s very little prep!
- If you choose the digital script, along with your projector, you do not have to make a copy for each student. The font is very large so that students can read their lines from across the room.
Want More Mystery Reader’s Theater?
- Who Swiped the Spells? – Halloween Mystery Reader’s Theater
- Who Stole the Turkey? – Thanksgiving Mystery Reader’s Theater
- Who Stole Santa’s List? – Christmas Mystery Reader’s Theater
- Who Left Us Cupcakes? – Valentine’s Day Mystery Reader’s Theater
- Who Freed the Fish? – End of the Year Mystery Reader’s Theater
Happily brought to you by Rachel Lynette and Cassi Noack of Minds in Bloom!