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Motivate students with writing prompts and critical thinking exercises based on mysteries. Each of the seven mysteries presented in the book requires students to break down the clues and filter through the evidence using everything from deductive reasoning to math and science skills. Students then write their conclusions about the guilt or innocence of the parties involved. Some may write a persuasive argument from the perspective of an attorney. Others may write a narrative story from the viewpoint of a suspect. Still others may write an investigator's expository presentation of the facts.
Lively discussions and lots of learning are sure to take place. An answer key is provided, but students who become involved in higher-level thinking may come up with other ideas! As in America's courtrooms, well-supported arguments may be rewarded.