ELA6 3.7: It's (Element)ary

A good mystery has a few important elements, including suspects, clues, and red herrings... Of course, it can't hurt to throw in a few Scooby Snacks and a talking dog.

6th GradeLanguage Arts
Elementary and Middle School6th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:22

ingredients that give mysteries that are distinctive and dare we say mysterious, [chef mixes ingredients]

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taste. and no none of those ingredients are the mystery machines. well the first

00:33

one is a central problem aka a mystery to be solved like a crime. it's pretty

00:38

tough to solve a mystery if there's you know no mystery to solve. well you could

00:43

have a story where a detective goes to the beach with his friends and has a [2 men toss beach ball]

00:46

great time but with no problem well you've got no mystery. and sure the

00:51

detective might appreciate the day off but mystery stories aren't about

00:54

creating fond memories for fictional detectives. well the second element is a

00:58

list of suspects. if there's a crime to be solved then somebody must have [lineup shown]

01:01

committed that crime. and if there's only one suspect it's gonna be a pretty short

01:06

story, and not much of a mystery. so if you're bad at solving mysteries, well it

01:10

might be right up your alley. well the third element is a set of clues.

01:14

in a good mystery both the characters and the reader use clues to figure out [detective examines house]

01:17

who committed the central crime, and know the answer is rarely Miss Scarlet with

01:22

the candlestick in the billiard parlor. the fourth element is a bunch of red

01:26

herrings. and no red herring isn't an alternate name for swedish fish. [red candy fish]

01:30

we like that. in mysteries red herrings are false clues. things that suggest the

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guilt of a suspect who's really innocent. even though readers like to try and

01:39

solve mysteries they don't want the solution to be too easy. it's like the

01:43

difference between playing chess with your grandpa and playing chess with a

01:46

toddler. yeah the win against the toddler well [man plays with old man, and young child]

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it's gonna be way more satisfying than the win against your grandpa. what? she's

01:53

a prodigy. grandpa's just senile and last but not least a mystery story must

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contain a dénouement. well this is the resolution which comes at the end of the

02:02

story. it reveals the suspect who committed the central crime and it [detective points out perp from lineup]

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solves the mystery. and if you ever had a hard time coming up with a decent ending

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to your mystery keep this in mind. Edgar Allan Poe once ended a story by

02:14

basically saying the orangutan did it .so when in doubt you know blame the [student grimaces]

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orangutan.