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Ms. Caldwell from Albuquerque NM is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Growing Reading Detectives: Mystery Genre Literature Circles

Help me give my students books for mystery genre literature circles so they can have fun following the clues and growing as readers.

  • $201 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

I work with a group of diverse and energetic students in a Title I school located in the heart of Albuquerque, New Mexico. My students bring a variety of interests, strengths, and experiences to my classroom. But what do they all have in common? First, they love to read. During our daily reading workshop my students devour graphic novels, mythology, middle grades series, and classic titles. Bunnicula is much beloved in our classroom.

Second, these young people are deeply curious.

They cheer the start of each science lesson, and our explorations lead to further questions and debates. My students are eager typing apprentices and are learning to use Google Drive to publish their writing. They are embarking with wonder and enthusiasm on their first digital research projects focused on self-selected animals.

Finally, my students are kind. While my students come from diverse cultural backgrounds, they arrive each day with an openness and willingness to learn from one another. They ask honest, perceptive questions of me, their peers, and themselves. They challenge me and give me hope.

My Project

My students work with texts in a variety of ways in my classroom. They read self-selected "just right" books each day during reading workshop, engage with whole class texts focused on social studies and science content during shared reading, and grow thoughtful ideas about novels during read aloud. One of the best ways for students to synthesize their text-based work and develop collaborative skills is through literature circles.

In the Mystery Genre Literature Circles unit, students will read mystery novels in small groups.

This small group work will follow a read aloud unit in which I will read a mystery novel (Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring by Angela Cervantes). I will introduce the class to key features of the mystery genre as well as model and guide students in practicing key thinking skills: noticing and recording important pieces of evidence or clues, making inferences, and developing and revising theories based on evidence from the text.

After the whole class read aloud unit, students will select books from the literature circle texts included in this project. The texts are differentiated to accommodate the range of readers in my class and allow them to choose between at least two books. Students will learn how to schedule literature circle meetings, determine the number of pages to read by the next meeting, and apply collaborative discussion techniques learned throughout the year to have meaningful and engaging conversations as they work together to solve the mysteries. I believe that this experience will deepen the love of reading my students already possess while sharpening their attention to detail as readers.

Thank you for helping my students walk in the shoes of gumshoes!

Read More
Ms. Caldwell
Grades 3-5
Half of students from low‑income households

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5 donors5 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 20 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Geronimo Stilton #1: Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye • AKJ Education $5.83 5 $29.15
Chasing Vermeer • AKJ Education $5.83 5 $29.15
Cam Jansen: The Mystery of the U.F.O. #2 • AKJ Education $4.49 5 $22.45
Cam Jansen: The Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds #1 • AKJ Education $4.49 5 $22.45
Encyclodedia Brown Boy Detective • AKJ Education $4.37 5 $21.85
Nate the Great Goes Undercover • AKJ Education $4.37 3 $13.11

Materials cost


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Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


4 Donors


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Project Activity

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