Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mystery Theme Open House Ideas - Whatever Wednesdays

Today's Whatever Wednesday Topic is: Open House Themes/ Mysteries

Our annual Open House is coming up in June. I have discovered that I love doing a theme for Open House each year. It gives the projects a focus, makes everything feel coherent and keeps me on task. A couple years back I did a Mystery Themed Open House. In the weeks leading up to the Big Night we read lots of mystery books. I used a lot of the elements that my teacher hero, Beth Newingham has so generously shared on her website. The kids loved the theme and it made for some fun projects to showcase at Open House. This would make a great classroom theme as well.

I already shared the Story Cubes and Silhouettes a few weeks ago. Below are some more ideas you might want to use. Click on any photo to enlarge it,

WANTED POSTERS: Each student created a character for himself and wrote a story explaining their alibi and why they were innocent. The alleged crime was: Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar.

CRIME SCENE TRIORAMA: After writing their own mysteries based on a Nursery Rhyme (i.e. Was Humpty Dumpty Pushed? Who really scared Miss Muffett?) we made trioramas based on their writing.

MYSTERY NUMBER: There are clues written on the front of the page with the question mark. You can lift the page to reveal the mystery number.

MAGNIFICENT ME: LOVED THESE!!! Each child painted a self portrait and wrote a bio poem about themself. I printed their poems on an overhead transparency and attached it to the magnifying class cutout. So stinking cute!

JUST THE FACTS: This was another favorite. I took a picture of each friend wearing a detective hat and a trenchcoat with a badge. The printed page read, "Just the Facts About (insert student name)." The children then wrote interesting facts about themselves on the paper. I mounted each onto brown cardstock, rounded the corners and used aluminum foil to make them look like clipboards.

I SPY: Each student wrote a descriptive paragraph about an object. I took a picture of each with the magnifying glass held up close so that it magnified one eye. They were lots of fun.

HANDWRITING ANALYSIS: Third graders learn to write in cursive. They each wrote the alphabet in cursive and then wrote clues about themselves in cursive on a separate card. The parents tried to match the clues to the "handwriting sample."
SCAVENGER HUNT: When each child arrived, I had a badge (came in packs of 4 from The Dollar Tree) anda clipboard waiting for each of them. The clipboard held a scavenger hunt for the night to complete with their families. This encourages them to show off all of their work. The hunt included things like, "What is the third word in the third sentence of your I Spy paragraph?"


Anonymous said...

Wow! You are awesome! I will be teaching third grade for the first time this fall and am so inspired by your creativity and organization! Thank you so much for sharing all of this. I will definately be using many of your ideas and directing other new teachers to your sites! I heart your style - I can relate to your need to cover the clutter!

Love to teach said...

I teach 2nd Grade and I have a detective theme. The kids love this theme. Thanks for the great ideas.