Detective Stories - Grade 2 Supplementary Activity

This Investigation and Inquiry activity will help foster students’ natural curiosity and promote development of critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and inquiry skills. The activity also underscores the detective motif in Xello K-2 and brings it into the classroom.

While we suggest Second Grade as the recommended grade level for this activity, you can adapt it to suit the needs and interests of your class.

Purpose Materials
In this activity, students will listen to a detective story, identify some basic elements of detective stories, and create their own detective story. The purpose of this activity is to:
  • Allow students to practice their listening comprehension, reading, and writing skills
  • Review with students what a detective does (and help them identify elements of the detective genre)
  • Encourage students to think creatively
To complete this activity, the following supplies are needed:
  • Detective book
  • Paper
  • Crayons, pencil crayons, markers, pencils
In-App My Files
Students upload a photo or audio recording of their detective story


  1. Read a detective book to students. Some great books about kid detectives include:
    • Encyclopedia Brown – Donald J. Sobol
    • Nate the Great – Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
    • Spy Camp – Stuart Gibbs
    • Junie B. Jones – Barbara Park and Denise Brunkus
    • Bunnicula – Deborah Howe
    • Harriet the Spy – Louise Fitzhugh
    • A to Z Mysteries: Detective Camp – Ron Roy
  2. After the story, ask students how they know when a story is a detective story (e.g. there is a detective character, something unexpected or strange happens, characters have to solve a mystery, other characters may be suspects, etc.). Remind students to use examples from the book to back up their points.
    • Make a list of students’ ideas and display it for them to see.
  3. Have students write and illustrate their own detective stories. They should make sure that their own stories follow the same patterns that they identified in the detective story you read.
    • Optional: Have students create their stories in pairs or in groups.

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