Teacher Review for Crime & Puzzlement

Have Fun Establishing and Supporting a Claim with Evidence

Dev F.
Classroom teacher
The Global Learning Collaborative
New York, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Further application
Small group
Student-driven work
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
I teach a class intended to prepare students for early admission of the NYS Common Core ELA Regents,. One of the tasks students will be required to complete on this exam is an argumentative essay that cites provided sources for support. As an introduction to the argumentative writing task, I have utilized Crime and Puzzlement. With Crime and Puzzlement, students receive an image and an accompanying caption. The image and caption propose a mystery (often of the murder variety) that students are required to solve through close analysis of the image and caption, as well as an application of their prior, real-world knowledge. In my class, students solve the case to establish a claim and support the claim with evidence from the caption and image. Students then use their prior, real-world knowledge to provide a warrant and analysis to justify their claims. As a summative assessment, students write an argumentative paragraph that explains their solution to the case.
My Take
I enjoy using Crime and Puzzlement tremendously. This is mostly due to the fact that it is so engaging for my students. When my students engage with Crime and Puzzlement, my classroom is alive. Discussion is accountable. Students engage in debates wherein they can be hear supporting their assertions with evidence. I particularly enjoy the sense of accomplishment that Crime and Puzzlement provides to my struggling learners. The argumentative writing skills, like close reading and evidence-based argument, that practiced with Crime and Puzzlement tasks easily translate to the skills assessed by the argumentative writing task on NYS Common Core ELA Regents.