## Minute-Mysteries: October

Minute-Mysteries are stories that can be solved with close examination of the clues in the story.

Emily and Connall were playing checkers at GG’s house. They played 5   games.  Each of them won the same number of games and there weren’t any ties.  How could this happen?

John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was the youngest person elected to the presidency.  However, he was the second youngest man to hold the office? How could this be?

On Monday, the teacher asked Teaghan how old she would be on her next birthday.  She answered that in two years she would be twice as old as she was five years ago.  How old is Teaghan today?

A photographer went for a walk in the woods to take pictures of nature.  That was the last time anyone saw her alive.  Three days later she was found dead in the woods.  The story says that she died because of a pack on her back.  What was so deadly about the pack?

Other posts related to this topic

Mysteries to support critical thinking

1. How many kids were playing checkers?
2. Are presidents always elected?
3. Use a chart or a table as your problem solving strategy.
4. Is there anything else special about the phrase  “pack on her back” other than it rhymes?

1. Emily and Connall were both playing checkers but they were not playing each other.
2. When President McKinley was assassinated, Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt became president..  At that time he was only 42.  President Kennedy was 43.
3. Teaghan is 12
4. The pack that was on the photographer was a “pack” of wolves.

## Mysteries to support critical thinking

Solving mysteries can support critical thinking while having fun

Mystery Luncheons were a regular activity in our school when I was a principal.  I invited different grades each day to join me to eat lunch and  I shared with them a few mysteries to solve.  It was a great time as we all chatted and tried to solve the mysteries.

The object of 1-2 minute mysteries is to solve the mysteries based on clues in the story. The clues are few and very often are not obvious.  The mysteries seem impossible to solve until you remember there is something (or more than one thing) that you are making assumptions about.

Steps to Solve:

2. If you are solving the mysteries with a friend, you can ask questions that can only be answered yes or no. Be sure to phrase the questions vaguely at first? Such as does the solution have anything to do with a specific character, the setting, the time of year, time of day, the weather etc.
3. Once you realize the answer is not clear, look at the story and think about what the tricks in the story could be:
• Most times the trick could be in our assumptions of the 5 W’s. (Who, What, When, Where and Why)
• What tricks could be in the story?
• Is there something about the sequence of what happened? (what happened first, second or last)
• Is there something about the characters? (Their name, the type they are)
• Something about the setting? (weather, time)

Mystery Stories

1. In the old West a man rides into town on Friday. He stays for three days and leaves on Friday. How can this be?
2. A father and son are in an auto accident. The father dies and the son is rushed to the hospital in critical condition. The doctor looks at the boy and says, “I can’t work on him, he’s my son.” How can this be?
3. Donna and Jerry and Howard and Mary all live in the same house. Donna and Jerry go out to a movie, and when they return, Howard is lying dead on the floor in a puddle of water and glass. It is obvious that Mary killed him but she is not arrested.  How could that be?
4. There is a pipe, a carrot and a pile of pebbles together in the middle of a field. Why?
5. Declan wants to go home, but he can’t go home, because the man in the mask is waiting for him.

Clues:

1. Friday is not a day of the week
2. Some careers have both men and women employed
3. Howard is not a man
4. Can you think of something that uses all 3 items?
5. The man in the mask is not a threat. He is supposed to be wearing a mask.