Solve the mystery worksheets high school

Solve the mystery worksheets high school DEFAULT

Have you ever wanted to be a detective? Now, you can with 7 detective activities.

Like Sherlock Holmes, you get clues and solve challenging puzzles.

And the best part? You practice English. And it’s tons of fun.

Like all our worksheets, they’re free to use for any purpose.

In groups of four, students will walk around the classroom searching for clues. While one student is the secretary, the other three are detectives. The detectives memorize each clue in English. They return to the secretary who writes down the clue. Finally, after the students find all the clues, they have to solve the puzzle.

2 Einstein’s Riddle

15 Einstein Riddle ESL Worksheet
This is the one of the most difficult of all detective activities in the list because it’s believed Einstein created this at a young age. Students have to use logic to solve this complex puzzle.

3 Spot the Difference

17 Spot the Differences
Two pictures look identical, but they’re not. Students have to find 10 differences in both scenes.

4 What’s in the Box?

07 What's in the Box
At the start of the class, the teacher bring a box into class. The teacher places any object in the box, but students can’t see what’s inside. Next, students investigate the contents by asking yes or no questions. When they get it correct, it can be a prize or their homework.

5 Teacher Quiz

26 Teacher Quiz ESL Worksheet
If you want to get your students out of their chairs in your first class, then this should be your go-to activity. Find clues around the class, and match answers with the clues.

6 Talking Bingo

09 Talking Bingo
First, everyone stands up and asks questions on their Bingo sheet. If they respond “yes”, the student can mark X on their Bingo sheet. The first student to fill out their sheet with a line comes to the teacher as the winner.

7 World Monuments

World Monuments
Connect the dot for each historical world monument with the country outline. After you complete this activity, can you recognize the monument and country outline?

7 Free Detective Activities

We’ve revealed 7 of the best detective activities where you either find clues or solve a challenging riddle.

They have worked wonders for our classes. Hopefully, they’ll be challenging for your students too.

Have you ever tried detective-style games in your class?

Please let us know what has worked and what hasn’t in the comment section below.


I did not waste the opening week of school introducing the course – my students solved mysteries. I took simplified mysteries and split them into 25-30 clues, each on a single strip of paper. Read my blog post on how I used this lesson.

I used a random count off to get the kids away from their buddies and into groups of 5-6 students. Each group got a complete set of clues for the mystery. Each student in the group got 4-5 clues that they could not pass around to the other students. They had to share the clues verbally in the group and that guaranteed that every student is a talker on day one.

This activity demonstrates to students the need for considering the contributions of every group member and gives them practice in organizing cooperatively to accomplish a task.  In this exercise every student is given bits of information essential to the solution of a mystery.  With modifications this exercise can be used to help students organize and evaluate information and data in a variety of contexts. 

You will need a set of clues for the case for each group. You can use the same case for all groups, then repeat the exercise with all groups using the second case.

Link to Murder Mystery Clues

Link to Bank Robbery Clues

Note - These clues were adapted from:
Learning Discussion Skills Through Games
Gene and Barbara Dodds Stanford
Citation Press / Scholastic Books 1969

Students are seated in a circle with the teacher standing outside the group.  The teacher gives the following explanation:

"Today we are going to play another game that will help improve your discussion skills.  Each of the pieces of paper I am holding contains one clue that will help you solve a mystery.  If you put all the facts together, you will be able to solve the mystery.  Any time you think you know the answers and the group agrees on the guess, you may tell me.  I will only tell you whether all five answers are right or wrong.  If parts of your answers are incorrect, I will not tell you which answers are wrong.

You may organize yourselves in any way you like.  You may not, however, pass your clues around or show them to anyone else, and you may not leave your seats to walk around the group. All sharing of clues and ideas must be done verbally.

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Virtual Classroom Murder Mystery Lesson

Desperate for something that will engage students during virtual meetings? Try a virtual classroom murder mystery!

In this post I’m explaining how to adapt my murder mystery lesson to an online meeting. Click here if you haven’t yet read my post about murder mystery lessons.

Okay, so let’s talk about how this very social lesson converts to distance learning.

Prep Work

As much as the students take the lead once it begins, there is a lot of front-load prep involved.

  • Introduce the idea at least a few days in advance of the lesson.
  • You want to make this an event – advertise it in advance to get the students excited about it.
  • You’ll also need to get a headcount of who is coming. You can do an online poll, a Google Form, email invites – whatever. I always create my mysteries knowing which characters to use depending on how many students I have. If I know I have 13 definitely showing up, I plan for 10-15 just in case. You can also plan for everyone but only give essential parts to those you know will show up.
  • Just got this review from a TpT customer who had a great idea to make sure ALL characters are covered even if you don’t have enough students for each character: “My students loved this and have asked to do another one. I liked the resources encouraging them to look at the clues and the culminating questions. For those with smaller classes, I did this with a class of 9 students. I tried to assign what I felt were the most important players to the students in my class, and then I used Flipgrid to record interviews with the other personas. I pasted QR codes from Flipgrid around the room so students could hear from the others involved.” Genius!
  • Send out instructions and hold a virtual meeting the day before to go over the instructions. I always include a list of instructions and a background story for all of my mysteries. Again, check my initial blog post for more info on instructions and background stories.
  • Send out character cards and the map 30-10 minutes before your mystery starts. See my sample card below. Be available via email or Zoom to answer any student questions. If you send them out too early, students may start without you via text and other messaging devices. If you send them out right before you begin students don’t have enough time to thoroughly read through them.
  • Notice the bullet points on the sample below: I need students to know they must have access to their papers during the virtual meeting. Students can have the Google Slide on one side of their screen and the Zoom/virtual meeting open on the other half of their screen.

Virtual Mystery Event

Yay! Time for the main event!

You don’t want to make it too rigid and structured, but you also can’t have students all shouting questions and answers at random. They’ll likely talk over one another and have trouble hearing each other.

At least for the very beginning, consider having everyone muted except for one student asking the question and one student answering the question. I suggest creating some sort of order (maybe alphabetically by character or student name) and have each student ask two questions. Go around at least once like this and then consider opening it up and letting the students steer the conversations.

For the first questions I show students how I set up my notes sheet to model it for them. See example below. I include a worksheet when I’m in person with them, but I doubt many can print out worksheets right now. Handwritten is probably best because it helps reinforce that they can always create a quick chart on their own – no worksheet needed.

I set a time limit. Give them 45 minutes to an hour to ask their questions.

That’s a Wrap!

How you end it is up to you and what your goal is with the lesson.

If your lesson goal is to teach inference and red herrings, then I would have students identify at least two red herrings as well as identify the assailant and what clues allowed the student to make that inference. Ask the students to submit the information prior to the next meeting and then do the big assailant reveal the next time you meet.

If your lesson goal is just to have fun and engage, then I’d have everyone write down who they think is the assailant and then hold up their names to the camera on the count of three. You can also use chat if not everyone is using the camera feature. Then open it up and let everyone chat for a bit. My students love chatting about the lesson once the secret is out. So many lies and rumors to discuss!

This is a really tricky time for students. A virtual classroom mystery could be just what they need for a brief escape.

Interested in my lesson? I have it posted at my TeachersPayTeachers store. Click here to out my high school version or here to check out the middle school version.



It's a Mystery!

MysteryIf it seems that something has been sneaking up on you this month, it is probably the mystery unit you've been planning. This week's "mystery" lessons draw attention to the power mysteries have to spark interest in reading and ignite critical thinking. Education World provides five lessons to set you on your way to a mysterious learning adventure! Included: Five mysterious lessons that focus on language arts, history, and forensic science!

Education World is here with five lessons that are sure to give you a clue about where to begin your mystery unit. Best of luck, detective!

More Mystery Resources
From Education World

The Mystery State Quiz
Give students one set of clues a week, or one clue a day, and see who is first to figure out the Mystery State! The Mystery State quiz will help your students learn about the 50 states as it improves their research skills. Included: Clues for all 50 states!

Mystery Lessons
Students assume the identity of private investigators as they read, solve, and write mysteries in this winning lesson plan submitted to Education World by teacher VaReane Heese.


This week, Education World provides five lessons about mysteries. Click on each of the five lesson headlines below for a complete teaching resource. (Approximate grade levels for each lesson are indicated in parentheses.)

Fingered Felons
Experiment with fingerprinting and analyze evidence to solve a classroom crime! (Grades 3-8)

Mysteries in the Bag
Build a mystery around the contents of a bag of evidence. (Grades K-Advanced)

"History's Mysteries"
Propose a theme for an upcoming program on the History Channel. (Grades 6-Advanced)

Secret Agent Stan
Help an old gumshoe find his way in a new era of investigative work! (Grades 3-8)

Combine language arts and forensic science activities for an effective elementary unit on mysteries. (Grades K-5)


For a quick trip into the magic of mysteries, try one of these excellent online resources:

History Mystery
From Scholastic, this site provides online adventures about topics in history. The more effective your research, the higher your rank as an investigator.

A. Pintura: Art Detective
Find the identity of Grandpa's painting and discover art history and composition. This site is designed for fourth grade and up.


School worksheets high solve the mystery

When I woke up Alice was already up, putting herself in order, hastily correcting her makeup. - How long can you sleep. We're almost there. Alice had already prepared the bags and collected all the things, and while I was getting dressed, I quickly gathered the bed linen. The brakes creaked, the train shook and slowly, reluctantly, stopped.

ESL games (GWG) #20 Murder Mystery

Oh, great Buddha, I lost my Way. I have sinned twice in one day and do not want to multiply my sins. Let the third sin break the chain of my atrocities.

Now discussing:

For the questioner's ears. Then she rolled gently onto her back and, standing up, wrapped her arms around the guard's neck. Someone whistled a simple, hilarious tune outside the door. Somehow it turned out that on these holidays I was one of five.

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