When Maudie solves a playground robbery on her first day at school, she and new friends Ezra, Ava and Kyle create The Inbestigators Detective Agency. Lesson theme: Friendship Ezra and Kyle are good friends even though they are interested in different things. Work with a partner to draw a venn diagram with your name in one circle and your partner's name in the other circle. What do you and your partner have in common? How are you different from your partner? Share your venn diagram with the class. Now, with a partner, or on your own; write down some answers to the following questions: How can being friends with people with different interests and favourite things be a good thing? Why is it important to understand that people have different interests and beliefs? Think about you and your friends, how are you similar and different? What can you teach your friends? What can you learn from your friends? Extension activity: In a small group, prepare a role play showing how to welcome a new student on his or her first day at your school.
When Sophie's online shopping parcels are delivered but never received she hires the Inbestigators to track them down. Lesson Theme: Honesty Oliver stole his sister's parcels in the hope that it would make her stay at home instead of going to work. Turn and talk: in a group of two or three, discuss Oliver's actions. How could he have handled the situation differently? Why do you think he didn't want to tell his sister how he was feeling? Why didn't he want to tell Joanna he didn't like her singing? Have you ever lied to someone because you didn't want to hurt their feelings? Write down three ways to let someone know you are not feeling comfortable about a situation. Extension activity: Create an acrostic poem for the word HONESTY with a phrase or word for each letter about being honest.
Pixie is horrified when her space diorama goes missing and Miss Tan falsely accuses her of not doing her homework. Lesson Theme: Achievement Justin stole Pixie's diorama and claimed it as his own because he thought his was not good enough. Kyle said he didn't really care about his diorama and Maudie was proud of hers. Turn and talk: In a group of two or three discuss the different attitudes the kids had towards the solar system project. Do you identify with one of the characters? Which one? Why? Have you ever wished you put in more effort when completing a project or task? Is it okay to get help with a project? Is it okay to let someone do your work for you then claim it as your own? With a partner, or on your own, write down five strategies for managing your time when working on a big school project. Extension activity: Maudie told Kyle his diorama was 'not very good', this is not useful feedback. Make a poster with speech bubbles that contain sentence starters for useful phrases when giving someone feedback eg; Maybe next time you could..... I like the way you.... Have you thought about.... . Share it with the class and put up on display in the classroom.
When his dance troupe's concert routine is sabotaged, Zac hires the Inbestigators to find out who at the dance academy is responsible. Lesson Theme: Excluding others Trish sabotaged Zac's music after he was rude and disrespectful towards her. Turn and Talk: In a group of two or three, tell each other how you think Trish felt after Zac treated her disrespectfully. Have you ever felt ignored, invisible or unappreciated? Are you a member of a team or club? Do you attend a special class outside of school? What are some good things about being in a team or troupe? What are some challenges you have faced when working in a group or playing in a team? How did you overcome these challenges? Write down a list of 'Do's and don'ts' for working in a team, come up with at least 5 'Dos ' and 5 'Don'ts' eg; Do; Take turns to share ideas, Don't; Gang up on a team member. Extension activity; 'Alphabet challenge': Come up with a word or phrase that has something to do with teamwork, sport, or performance for each letter of the alphabet. Eg; A: Athletics carnival B: Basketball C: Cooperation etc.
Pixie is furious when something she privately told Ava is made public, so Maudie resolves to find out how Pixie's secret got out. Lesson Theme: Emotions and secrets Pixie is upset with Ava because she thinks Ava shared her secret, when in fact Amelia saw the information on Pixie's phone. Turn and talk: In a group of two or three discuss why Amelia wanted to look at Pixie's phone. Is it ever okay to go through someone's phone or private information without permission? How can we keep our phones safe from people accessing our information? Why do you think Pixie didn't want everyone to know her parents were getting divorced? Describe to each other some of the ways Ava acted as a good friend. Kyle mentioned using a soft blankie for comfort, what are some ways you comfort yourself when feeling sad? Ava said she felt 'sad on the inside, not the outside' , what do you think she meant by that? Now with a partner, or on your own, write down 5 things you can do to comfort yourself or lift your mood when you are feeling sad.
When Ben mounts a competition to see who can fit a very large biscuit in their mouth like he can, Maudie is suspicious. Lesson Theme: Fitting in and making friends Ben tries to impress the kids in his class but he ends up deceiving them. Turn and talk: In a group of two or three, discuss why Ben has trouble making friends. Share your experiences of starting at a new school or trying to make friends in a new environment. Why do we sometimes try to impress people when we first meet them? What are some other ways of making friends in a new environment? Role Play: With a partner, pretend you have never met each other before! Ask each other questions and listen to the answers without interrupting at all. Games: Tell the class three things about you, but make one of them a lie. See if they can guess which one is a lie! Getting to know you treasure hunt; make a list of ten descriptions of a person and then find someone in the class for each description eg; has a sister, has lived in another country, has never tried broccoli, loves to dance, can play the piano etc etc. Extension activity: Design your own coat of arms. Create a coat of arms with 4 images that represent you. Make your unique design into a real coat of arms using paper, coloured pencils or markers and glue onto cardboard to make it strong like a shield.
When a prank caller targets Ezra and his neighbours, Maudie believes the Inbestigators can track down who is making the mystery calls. Lesson Theme: Buying and selling Tom's son uses private information in the form of phone numbers to harass people over the phone in the hope that they will buy one of his dad's security products. Turn and talk: Why did Tom's son take such extreme action to sell his dad's products? Have you ever received a phone call from someone trying to sell you something? What did you do? Have you ever accidentally clicked on a pop up ad online? How can you spot advertisements on websites and search engines? Why is it a good idea to avoid clicking on 'pop-up' advertisements? Have you ever received a prank call? What did you do? Design task: Design your own personal security product, it might be a type of camera, phone accessory or personal device - pretend there is no limit to the budget or technology! Extension activity: Create an persuasive advertisement to go with your design.
At the sports carnival, Kyle loses his temper when he doesn't win a race, but Maudie suspects there might be more to Kyle's unexpected loss. Lesson Theme: Winning and losing Kyle loses his temper after getting beaten in the 100 m race. Turn and talk: Discuss in a group of two or three what emotions would Kyle have been feeling after losing the race? How did his friends support him and help him out? Have you ever felt angry after losing a competition? How did you react? Now, on your own or with a partner, fill in a 'Y chart' with pictures and words to show what a 'good loser' looks like, sounds like and feels like then fill in another 'Y chart' showing what a 'bad loser' looks like, sounds like and feels like.
The grade five rock climbing excursion is jeopardised when the permission slips go missing, but Maudie suspects they may have been hidden on purpose. Lesson Theme: Parental permission Mario is determined to go rock climbing even though his Nonna says he isn't allowed to attend. Turn and talk; In groups of two or three, discuss why Mario decided to go against the wishes of his Nonna. Do you think he did the wrong thing? Why or why not? Have your parents ever stopped you from taking part in something that you really wanted to do? How did it make you feel? Have your feelings changed since that time?
When Maudie loses her beloved notebook, Ezra, Ava and Kyle band together to reunite their friend with her most prized possession. Lesson Themes: Loss and helping others Maudie is unable to do anything until she finds her lost, treasured notebook. Turn and talk; In groups of two or three, discuss how Maudie's friends and teacher support her? Why is it sometimes a good idea to work through a problem in a group, rather than on your own? Ava tells Ezra to 'take his foot out of his mouth', what did she mean? Have you ever lost a precious item? Did you find it? What tricks do you use to either find lost items or not lose them in the first place? Why was the notebook so important to Maudie? Quiet, reflective activity: Draw a picture of something that is precious to you and write a description of that item. You can share with the class, a partner or keep it to yourself. Extension activity: 'To put your foot in your mouth' is a kind of idiom, look up some other idiomatic expressions on the Internet and create posters with illustrations of some of your favourite idioms to put on display in the classroom.
When the timer on Mrs Maniaci's sprinkler system is tampered with before the Garden of the Year competition, the Inbestigators must track down the culprit. Lesson Theme: Blame Mrs Maniaci is so upset about her garden being flooded she immediately accuses others of sabotage when it was, in fact, done accidentally by Amelia. Turn and talk; In a group of two or three, share with each other a time when you accidentally blamed the wrong person for doing something. How do you think anger and other strong emotions affect our ability to think calmly about a situation? Have you ever jumped to a conclusion then realised you were wrong? Write down five strategies for calming down when you are feeling stressed or angry. Extension activity: In a pair or a small group, use the Internet to research some physical actions for calming down and relaxing eg; belly breaths, sitting in the lotus position, then film a tutorial using software such as i-movie demonstrating the actions for others to learn.
Maudie and Ava infiltrate Mr Barker's grade six class to watch his famous pop quiz, where Maudie uncovers a crime. Lesson theme: Cheating Maudie realises that Abby's team is winning the pop quiz by cheating, rather than studying the most. Turn and talk: In a pair or small group discuss the differences between helping and cheating. What effect did the cheating have on other class members, such as Kelly? What was the consequence for the team once their cheating was revealed? How did Mr Barker react? How do you think Mr Barker felt? On your own, complete the following sentences in writing; We should not cheat because...... , If we cheat, it can make others feel...... , Some consequence of cheating may be...... .
When Annie's science fair experiment is stolen, the Inbestigators must track it down before the judging commences. Lesson theme: Sibling rivalry Annie makes a bet with her brother about whose room is the dirtiest, which leads to him sabotage her science project. Turn and talk: Discuss in a small group; why did Frank choose to hide the petri dishes? What were the consequences of his actions? How do you think he felt after being caught? Share your experiences of sibling rivalry with the group.
When Esther is injured in the dress rehearsal of the grade five play, Maudie must figure out who caused the mishap before showtime. Lesson theme: Coping under pressure Ava wants the Year 5 play to be absolutely perfect and puts a lot of pressure on the actors to meet her expectations. Turn and Talk; In small groups discuss why Esther pretended to have a sprained ankle. Esther decided she would rather not perform at all than perform with mistakes, can you understand this decision? What could Esther have done instead of faking a sprained ankle? Share your experiences of having to perform or compete in a high pressure situation, did you feel anxious or excited? What other emotions might we feel when performing or competing? How can we settle our nerves so that we can perform at our best? Write a list of 5 people who you can ask for help when feeling stressed or anxious about an upcoming performance, competition or assignment.
When Esther's painting is damaged during the art show, Maudie has trouble proving who ruined the artwork without finding the evidence first. Lesson Theme: Anger and jealousy Caitlin was so upset about Esther ruining her painting and winning the prize that she threw a cookie at Esther's painting. Turn and talk; Discuss in a small group; even though it was an accident, why didn't Caitlin confess to putting the hole in Esther's painting? Share with the group a time when you have felt really angry. What does your body feel like when you get angry? How can you calm yourself down when you are feeling angry? Extension activity: Write an entertaining narrative or comic about someone losing their temper.
When a turtle is stolen from Ryan's backyard, Ezra offers the agency's services, but Maudie is convinced something about the robbery doesn't add up. Lesson Theme: Caring for animals Ryan cares so much for the class turtle that he fakes its disappearance so he can keep it for himself. Turn and Talk; In a small group discuss what Ryan did. How did Ryan feel when he saw his classmates banging on the turtle's tank and passing the turtle around. Share with your group: have you ever looked after a class pet? What responsibilities did it involve? Did you like looking after the pet? What kinds of responsibilities do you have at home? How do you care for others? You might help care for a sibling, animal or even a parent. Create a poster with an explanation of how to look after a pet, you can choose any pet you like. You may need to do some research at the library or on the Internet. Extension activity: Design and make a model of an enclosure for a pet turtle.
Mr McGillick is upset after he loses his precious 'World's Best Principal' mug, so Ezra makes it his personal mission to get it back. Lesson Theme: Special things Mr McGillick is distraught after losing his favourite mug as it has sentimental value. Turn and talk; In a pair or small group, discuss the term 'sentimental' , do you own something that has sentimental value? Spelling task: Look up the definition of the word 'sentimental' in the dictionary and write it down. How many small words can you find in the word 'sentimental' eg; sent, me etc. Research the etymology of the word 'sentimental', what is the root form of the word, what are some other suffixes or prefixes used on this root word?
Poppy loses her school hat and is forced to sit in the shelter shed, where Maudie discovers there may be more to the missing hat. Lesson Theme: Power in relationships Violet only lets one of her friends play with her at a time, leaving the other left on her own. Turn and talk; Discuss in small groups; have you ever felt like a friend had power over you? Why are there sometimes problems in friendships when new people arrive at a school? What could Poppy have done about Violet being so controlling? What did Ava mean when she told Poppy 'you are the boss of yourself'? Write about a time when you had to be 'the boss of yourself', where were you? What were the circumstances? What happened? How did you feel afterwards?
After a little girl's drone is blown away, the Inbestigators must prove that a boy in a neighbouring house has claimed it as his own. Lesson Theme: Stealing Angus took the drone then decided he had done the wrong thing and chose to return it to Zoya. Turn and talk; In a pair or small group, discuss Angus' actions, why do you think he chose to return the drone? What would you have done in the same circumstances? What might have happened if Angus did not return the drone? Have you ever had to admit you did the wrong thing? How did that make you feel? How did you apologise or make up for your actions?
Ava wants to give Maudie her first proper birthday party, but Maudie gets sidetracked by a mystery. Lesson Theme: Celebrations Maudie has never had a birthday party before so the others organise a surprise for her. Turn and talk; In a pair or small group, share with each other a time when you had a birthday party. Have you ever been to a surprise party? Who was it for? Were they surprised? Design task; Create an amazing birthday party invitation for a 10, 11 or 12 year old. Include some origami in the design.
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