Thursday, December 15, 2011

TES: An Xmas Writing/Role-Play Activity

Christmas Writing...
I was rooting around on TES the other day looking for random writing activities to insert into my classes and lo-and-behold, I found a fun Christmas activity. Now, just so you know, I teach senior ELA which means grades 9-12 and to be honest, I do not do Christmas writing activities. It is time consuming and usually out of the theme of what we are working on. Senior ELA is so focused and full of outcomes to complete that there usually isn't time to work on holiday activities like there is the in the younger grades. But in this case, I will be making an exception!
Back to the the activity I found...
It is a bit morbid but quite fun, it is a Christmas Murder Mystery! The premise is that Santa Clause has been murdered! But who did it? What will happen to Christmas? - Each student is given a role to play (this is kind of like a dinner role-playing murder mystery game) with an explanation of what their details are. Students are then given a list of questions and must go around to the other characters and find out as much information as possible. After about 10 or so minutes, the students must work with the information they found out to come up with a written explanation of a plot and reveal the murder case and the guilty person (their opinion based on facts). There are clues that the teacher can give out randomly during the 10 minutes to help with the investigation. The teacher also has access to the solution to read to the students once they discuss their own plot revealing.
It is a fun little activity that gets students students interviewing, writing, moving around, acting and generally just having some interesting good times while using their critical thinking skills. I call that, a home run! 
Sign up for a TES account for free - there are tons of resources for all grade levels - this site is out of the UK so for you senior teachers, it is KS3 or KS4 activities.