Earth Day Activity – Close Reading Environmental Digital Inference Mystery

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Earth Day Activity – Close Reading Environmental Digital Inference Mystery: This Earth Day digital close reading activity is a fun way to engage your students and challenge them to look for text evidence, infer information, and read more closely. The resource includes everything you need to facilitate the activity in your classroom.

On Earth Day morning, Evergreen High School finds itself transformed as pine trees sprout across the property, litter vanishes, and power is cut. Staff and students are bewildered as students react with surprise and confusion, wondering who is responsible for this Earth Day surprise. With no clear culprit, it’s up to your students to examine the clues to determine who is responsible!

This is a Google-compatible activity, and students complete all the work on the computer. This works well with distance learning, 1:1 classrooms, remote teaching, Google Classroom, or for online education.

Included In This Digital Earth Day Close Reading Activity:

➡️ Earth Day Mystery Google Slides Presentation: This 17-slide Google Slides presentation guides the mystery with the backstory, evidence, the culprit reveal, and detailed explanations for why each suspect is innocent and evidence to show who is responsible for the Earth Day surprise.

➡️ Original Narrative Backstory: Use this short story to set up and initiate the mystery, with clues hidden within the text!

➡️ A Variety of Digital Clues and Evidence: These require students to close read and use their inference skills. Some of the evidence shares environmental facts with students as well! There is a tree planting pamphlet, a lights out initiative handout, an email, an environmental blog, an Earth Network social media page, a texting conversation, and a horticulture newsletter.

➡️ Earth Day Mystery Digital Graphic Organizer: Students can use this to keep track of their findings that support or refute different suspects in the mystery.

➡️ Teacher Answer Key: This is made available in print format and within the presentation slideshow to make reviewing students’ work a breeze.

How The Digital Earth Day Close Reading Activity Works:

  • Decide whether you want students to work in partners, groups, or independently for the activity.
  • Use the Google Slides presentation to guide you through each element of the lesson. The slides will help you introduce the story and evidence to students.
  • Share the digital file with students and allow them time to make their predictions and inferences and solve the mystery.
  • Once students have made their final prediction, use the Google Slides presentation to reveal the culprit and go through each of the suspects to show the evidence of their innocence or guilt.

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