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Teaching Detective Fiction through a Cross Curriculum Unit, by Angelo J. Pompano


Guide Entry to 95.01.10:

This unit establishes detective fiction as a legitimate subject matter for the seventh grade, proposes cross curriculum teaching as an effective method, and gives examples of cross curriculum lessons applied to the Agatha Christie short story “Miss Marple Tells a Story.” It will last two weeks and will include every seventh grade teacher in the school, as well as the librarian.

This unit will develop in the student the ability to question, find information that relates to that question, and then know how to use that information intelligently. The result will be a total immersion of the student in the unit. As students read Agatha Christie’s “Miss Marple Tells a Story,” their challenge is to develop a trial for Miss Carruthers, the accused murderess. The students will read and discuss the story in reading class. When they move on to another class the skills in the content area will focus on acquiring information needed to prepare for the “trial.” Throughout the day, as the students move from one class to another, the detective story theme continues. At the end of the unit, seeing the integration of the curriculum areas applied to one task helps the students realize the usefulness of their studies.

(Recommended for Cross Curriculum, grade 7)

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