Lesson Plan

FBI mystery investigation: Exploring symbolism in Trifles by Susan Glaspell

Exploring symbolism in Trifles by Susan Glaspell
Andrea N.
Technology Integration Specialist
Springfield Local Schools
Akron, United States
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, English Language Learning, World Languages, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, Health & Wellness

Students will be able to understand the importance of symbolism in a text. 

English Language Arts
Grades 9 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Set Induction

This lesson is a part of a larger unit that front loads reading for Susan Glaspell's "Trifles". 

Students will work in small teams to investigate a crime scene through following FBI protocol.

On the first day, students will work in their small groups and use them as "literature circles" to read provided excerpts from the FBI handbook for crime scene investigation.  Students will utilize the information text excerpts to summarize and make a check list for the crime scene that will be set up tomorrow.  They will be graded by their ability to synthesize and apply this information while analyzing the crime scene.  

At the end of the period, we will summarize as a class and create a template checklist together through Google Classroom and Google Drive/Docs.


2 Guided Practice

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Using the template checklist accessed through Google Classroom, each group will click and share a copy with their small groups.  

Students will then use the template to analyze the "scene" that is set up in the classroom based on Susan Glaspell's Trifles.  Import symbols that need to be set up include:  The birdcage, the sewing box, rocking chair, broken preserves, rope, cold house, silk square with canary.  

I usually let students create a report that allows them to be creative, yet gounded in evidence, that allows them to draw conclusions on what happened.

Another layer of the scene can be added with pre-made excerpts using a Voki, Telegami, etc from Mrs. Wright and Mrs. Hale.    

The symbols/recordings are treated as "stations" and groups rotate between stations and get so much time at each to make observations.

The final report is turned in through Google Classroom.