39 Hanover Street, Lebanon, NH 03766
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Murder Mysteries




INSTRUCTIONAL GOALS: This literature class will focus on contemporary murder mystery fiction. Many fast paced and suspenseful books will be read over the course of the year and students will write, speak, and create projects based on the characters and stories. Students will write their own short murder mystery fiction stories and learn about creating mystery through detailed description. Students will analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.


At the end of this course, you will

  • know techniques in
    • Reading Murder Mystery novels and short stories
    • Analyzing Murder Mystery novels and short stories
    • Discussing Murder Mystery novels and short stories
    • Story mapping
    • Multimedia storytelling
    • Essay writing
    • Giving construct criticism of peers’ writing
  • understand
    • Murder Mystery genre now and historical context
  • be able to read using multiple techniques
    • Silent independent comprehension
    • Group, round robin comprehension
  • be able to write using many formats
    • Descriptive
    • Narrative
    • First-Person
    • Persuasive
    • Expository
    • Subjective/Objective
    • Fiction
  • be able to participate in discussions
  • be able to orally present as a group and independently


Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Confessions: The Private School Murders by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson

The Angel of Death by Alane Ferguson

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Game by Barry Lyga

Invisible by James Patterson

Assorted Short Stories by Edgar Allen Poe

Assorted Sherlock Holmes Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Assorted Young Sherlock Holmes Stories


Required Background

To successfully complete this course, you must

  • be able to follow instructions and work in a group situation, including giving oral presentations


Required Materials

To successfully complete this course, you will need

  • only materials provided by school



September - Confessions of a Murder Suspect

October - The Christopher Killer

November - Invisible

December - Serial Podcast

January - Mystery fiction writing


Daily Schedule

20 minutes - Reading (independent of group)

10 minutes - Response (answer reading comprehension questions)

     Conference (weekly meetings with each student on their books)

15 minutes - Vocab Games

5 minutes - Participation




General Rules:

  • Students are permitted to miss no more than 15 classes for the semester - all absences beyond this point must be made up before or after school, 5 tardies = 1 absence
  • When in the computer lab or using laptop computers, students must be respectful of technology
  • Respectful and kind behavior and language is expected at all times, students will be asked to the class if this does not happen
  • If students miss days, they must talk with teacher about making up all assignments


Student Responsibilities:

  • Arrive to school and class on time daily
  • Be prepared and ready to learn
  • Voice opinion in respectful way
  • Strive for academic excellence
  • Take responsibility for your own actions


Grading Policies:

When students are absent, they are expected to make up all work they missed within 5 class days of their return to school.



97 - 100


87 - 89.9


77 – 79.9


67 – 69.9


0 – 59.9


93 - 96.9


83 – 86.9


73 – 76.9


63 – 66.9



90 - 92.9


80 – 82.9


70 – 72.9


60 – 62.9



  • Wendy Kozak, Teacher at Ledyard Charter School
  • (603) 727-4772, available by phone on school days 8-9am, 3-4pm
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Student Signature: _____________________________________ Date: _____


Parent Signature:   _____________________________________ Date: _____

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