These activities are based on the article ‘World’s Strangest Unsolved Mysteries’ in issue twenty-two of Animal Planet magazine. There are opportunities to develop comprehension and writing skills using the resources provided.
Pupils will learn about fascinating mysteries from around the world: from the Loch Ness Monster to the Bermuda Triangle. They will read an interesting article about five unsolved mysteries which will leave them intrigued, asking questions about these mysteries and firing up their imaginations for the writing tasks that follow.
After reading the text, pupils will take on the role of a detective, interviewing eye witnesses to these mysteries to gather information to add to an ‘Unsolved Mysteries File’. There are opportunities for pupils to sketch what was seen and add their thoughts on what actually might have happened. Pupils will then use the unsolved mysteries as a stimulus for writing, with opportunities to write a non-chronological report about the mystery and/or use the information as inspiration to write their own mystery stories.
The resources could be used over a series of lessons in English to create an inspiring writing resource for pupils in Key Stage 2.
Teachers’ notes are included, with suggested activities to develop the unit further.
This KS2 resource pack includes:
- Copy of the Animal Planet article ‘World’s Strangest Unsolved Mysteries’
- Comprehension question cards (with answer sheet)
- Unsolved mystery cards
- Questions for witnesses worksheet
- Witness report worksheet
- Detectives report worksheet
- Planning sheet – non-chronological report (2 versions)
- How to write a non-chronological report poster (2 versions)
- Planning sheet – mystery story
- How to write a mystery story poster
- Themed writing paper
What is Animal Planet magazine?
This pack has been created in association with Animal Planet magazine, which fuels curious minds, helps children make sense of the world and sparks joy on every page.
To find out more, and register your interest in a school subscription, visit the Animal Planet magazine website.
National Curriculum Programme of Study Links
Pupils should develop positive attitudes to reading and understanding of what they read by listening to and discussing a wide range of … non-fiction
Pupils should understand what they read by
-checking that the text makes sense to them, discussing their understanding and exploring the meaning of words in context.
- asking questions to improve their understanding of the text.
Pupils should be taught how to retrieve, record and present information from non-fiction.
Pupils should plan their writing by discussing and recording ideas (years 5 and 6 also by drawing on research where necessary)
Years 3 and 4 Writing- Composition
Pupils should draft and write by
- composing and rehearsing sentences orally, progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.
- in narratives, creating settings, characters and plot
- in non-narrative material, using some simple organisational devices [for example headings and subheadings]
Years 5 and 6 Writing - Composition
Pupils should plan their writing by
- identifying the audience for and purpose of the writing
Pupils should draft and write by
- selecting appropriate grammar and vocabulary, understanding how such choices can change an enhance meaning
- in narratives, describe settings, characters and atmosphere …
- using further organisational and presentational devices to structure text and to guide the reader [for example, headings, bullet points and underlining]