Tuesday, June 23, 2009
This is what my students see when they come into the English Only Zone this week. Their job, to find the culprit! The year, 1891. The location, London. Outside The Rose and Crown Pub, Whitechapel.
Inside the classroom are various locations in London, and students move from station to station playing a "choose your own adventure" murder mystery. The Whitechapel Killer is on the loose, loosely based on Jack the Ripper--and our murderer turns out to be named Jack. Just not that one! Leaves it open for a sequel next year ...
In order to begin, students must pair up and receive the handout, which describes the initial situation. You are Mycroft Pound, famous detective, and your associate is Dr. Browning. A knock at your door introduces an Inspector from Scotland Yard who asks for your assistance. Students must answer two or three simple questions from me about the opening paragraph in order to enter the classroom and begin sleuthing.
Based on their choices after reading a card, students may get closer to finding the killer, or they may go off on red herrings. When hot on his trail, they may choose the wrong course of action and lose the scent. Failed attempts get directed to station #22, where they begin again, so there is a chance for everyone to succeed.
Never having done this before, I am pleased to see the level of success--most teams take twenty-five or thirty minutes to find the criminal, then they get to go across the hall and watch a Jeremy Brett Holmes video, as mentioned below. A few groups take all period (well, once they get inside) and a few don't actually succeed in solving the crime. Still, even from that group, I have heard how funny it is--which is Konglish for fun!
Posted by Tuttle at 10:24 PM