Who done it? Sleuthing and self-discovery is an arts program writing course for 7th and 8th grade students that focuses on the crime fiction genre. Students are introduced to the genre through storytelling, literature and videos of movies and television shows. The course is designed to combine linear and sequential learning with intuitive and creative activities and projects. Since crime fiction heroes tend to engender this type of multidimensional thinking, they should serve well as models for our students. From the fastidious sleuthing of Sherlock Holmes to the action-packed adventures of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the Lethal Weapon movies, students are offered a variety of personas and methodologies with regard to problem solving, logic, deductive reasoning and issues of moral and social responsibility. Cultivating the whole child, building many kinds of literacy, developing intuition, reasoning and imagination, are some of the aims of this unit that also align with the arts program standards as set forth in the National Standards for Arts Education (published in 1994 by the Consortium of National Arts Education Associations). Many of the activities have been designed with these goals in mind and much of the information contained in the unit can also be applied to other disciplines, such as theater, social studies and English.
(Recommended for English/Reading and Writing, Social Studies/Law, and Theater/Playwriting and Drama, grades 7 and 8)