Mini Lesson: Suspects
Yesterday we talked about what mystery readers notice when something is out of place. Another idea that came up yesterday was about Suspects.
The students will learn how to identify the suspects of a mystery book by looking at the character's descriptions, suspicious thoughts or actions and possible motive.
Today we will talk about SUSPECTS. Suspects are people who might have committed the crime. They have a MOTIVE for committing a crime. A MOTIVE is the reason for making a choice or completing an action. In a mystery, a character's motive is his/her possible reason for committing a mysterious action, a crime or causing a problem. Thinking about the motive helps us identify a suspect. You can find a character's motive or reason for committing the crime by thinking about the CHARACTER'S DESCRIPTION, THOUGHTS and ACTIONS. A character without MOTIVE OR SUSPICIOUS INFORMATION usually won't be a suspect.
(I will present them with a chart that shows the three important things to take note in identifying the suspects: Character's Description, Suspicious Thoughts or Actions and Possible Motive.) A great way to keep track is to use this chart.
In this chart, I have identified one suspect from the book Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief. I think that the hotel manager is the thief. (Then I will read what I wrote in the chart). Now I am going to give you time to think about another possible suspect. Turn and talk to your partner. (After that, I will be asking them to describe the character, list their suspicious thoughts or actions and most importantly, his/her possible motive.)
When you go back to your chairs with your reading partner, do the same activity using the book you are reading. I will keep the chart on the board for reference. Use the chart that I have prepared for you which exactly looks the same as the one on the board.