Library Visit: Using your detective skills when reading a picture book

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I apologize for this late post.  This post is based on a lesson taught a couple of weeks ago.  I waited until I received permission from the author, Mini Grey, to post an image from the book .

This lesson is based on grade  three students who visited the library for their book exchange time.  However, today, I asked the girls if they would like to see if they could be detectives.  Of course, they responded with a resounding YES!  Using the picture book, Hermelin, the Detective Mouse (as told to Mini Grey), I had the girls sit in groups of three with their post-it note pads, pencils and a copy of the page of the row of homes and windows (see image below).

With those items in hand, the girls were instructed to use their ears to listen to clues from the story and their eyes, to see what could happen next in the picture.  Before the story started, the girls were quickly observing the page, trying to figure out the connections and what mysteries were coming their way.  I read the page to them, using my finger to guide them from left to right and pointing out each of the characters.  The students looked from my page to their page to ensure it was the same.

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Hermelin (Grey, 2013)). Picture from book posted with permission from author, Mini Grey.

It was amazing as the students sat in silence while I read each of the mysteries (the other visual cue was a list of post-it notes on the white board that guided the students to who was involved in each of the mysteries).  As soon as I read the clue (without showing the page, as Hermelin solved the mystery on each page), the girls leaned into their page, talking quietly amongst themselves as they used the clues on the page and their own imaginations to figure it out.

At the end when I read through the mysteries with the students and they called out their responses before I could read them.  I showed the page and they were satisfied.  I declared them all detectives.  And you know what happens when you have a roomful of detectives!  Happiness all around as the girls wanted more mysteries.  Since the library is shelved with mysteries, I was ready to offer them their next case!  Hermelin would be proud!

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