Activities and Games, Writing Activities
Mystery Writing with Joan Lowery Nixon: A Writing With Writers Activity
This five-step workshop hosted by a published mystery writer offers tips, strategies and challenges to help students craft a successful mystery.
- Grades: 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
The “Mystery Writing with Joan Lowery Nixon” workshop (grades 1-8), part of Scholastic’s Writing with Writers series, gives students the unique opportunity to learn mystery writing from a pro. Published writer Joan Lowery Nixon walks students through a five-step program offering tips, strategies, and challenges to help students craft a spooky story.
Step 1: A Mystery by Me Students can read Joan Lowery Nixon’s “A Purr-fect Mystery” to get acquainted with this genre of writing.
Step 2: Writing Tips Joan offers 10 tips to help students brainstorm, including focusing on the main character, making a list of clues to use in the story, and incorporating suspense.
Step 3: Writing Challenges Joan poses three activities that help students start their mysteries: write your opening sentence, create your characters, and develop suspense.
Step 4: Revision Guidelines Students can use Joan’s eight tips for revising, from reading it aloud to making sure you haven’t used the same word two or three times in the same paragraph.
Step 5: Publish Online Students have the unique opportunity to be published mystery writers! Here, they can submit their work to Scholastic.com.
Plus: Students can also read mysteries from other students, ages 5 to 15.
Scholastic's online activities are designed to support the teaching of standards-based skills. While participating in “Mystery Writing with Joan Lowery Nixon," students become proficient with several of these skills.
- Identify unique characteristics of different writing genres
- Follow the writing process for different genres to create original writing
- Use web technology to post original writing online
- Demonstrate understanding of different genres by responding to questions
- Understand how to review and revise their own writing • Review and present constructive criticism to peer writing
- Learn to think critically and objectively about their reading
- Learn to review and revise their own writing
- Produce written work to show evidence of knowledge of the different genres