Entry Point

A Murder Mystery

An International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) Entry Point

Our sides ache. Our cheeks ache. The laughter snowballs and we just can’t stop. We’re slaphappy. It’s 17:30 and we’re still at the school, working out a script for the Murder Mystery 7th and 8th grade Entry Point for the International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) program at the school. The Murder Mystery activity was downloaded from the Internet but needed serious overhaul as there were many gaps and inconsistencies but we finally worked through it, and made a fun time of it for sure.

Treasure chests, playing cards, a “Last Testament and Will”, candy, student journals, and newspaper were either rounded up or created.  You’d be surprised at how difficult it was to secure newspaper.  Student invitations with character description and instructions printed and handed out. A clipboard for each classroom with all the paper work was put together. In the end, six teachers collaborated to pull this off.

This morning we gathered with the students and the drama began.  We commenced with character introductions. Some students were very prepared and engaged, mocking an accent or acquiring a mannerism.  The room was abuzz with questions, laughter, and curiosity during the “get to know each other” session in which students, in character, were supposed to find out things about others. Finally, it was time to enact the script.  Focused students realized the flow and spontaneously contributed, eager for the outcome.  A melodramatic ending topped off the event.  The sharing of candy from the treasure chest elicited cheers and smiles. 

The event culminated with students intent on their journal reflections.

What is an entry point supposed accomplish? or to be like?

From the IMYC manual:

“… sets an exciting context for the … explicit purpose of a new beginning.”

“intended to be engaging enough so that students will begin to think about the idea of the Theme and Big Idea”

“outside the box”

“generate interest and, hopefully, excitement about the Theme and learning that is to come”

It’s time for teachers to reflect.  It’s time to determine whether the intentions of the IMYC for the entry point were met. In many ways, yes.  But we can do better. 

We can always do better, right? That’s a teacher’s job.  No matter how good, it can always be better.