Earth Day Activity – Close Reading Environmental Inference Mystery For Earth Day

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Earth Day Activity – Close Reading Environmental Digital Inference Mystery: This Earth Day 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!

Included In This Earth Day Close Reading Activity:

➡️ Earth Day Mystery PowerPoint Presentation: This 17-slide PowerPoint 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.

➡️ Earth Day Reading Mystery Classroom Poster: Put this poster up on your classroom door or somewhere visible so that when students come in, they are hooked into the activity.

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

➡️ A Variety of 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 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 Earth Day Close Reading Activity Works:

  • Start by putting up the poster on your door to build anticipation when students enter the room. When students enter, put them in small groups, so they can work together to try to solve the mystery.
  • Use the presentation slides to guide you through each element of the activity. The slides will help you introduce the story and evidence to each of the groups.
  • Hand out all the evidence to students and allow them time to make their predictions and inferences and solve the mystery.
  • Once each group has made their final prediction, use the presentation slides to reveal the culprit and go through each of the suspects to show the evidence of their innocence or guilt.

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