Mystery and Multimodal Learning

Best Mysteries of 2012

When I think of mystery as a genre, I would have never thought about science as a field that fits the mold. After having read this modules readings, I know see that science is just one big mystery story. I think that is an interesting concept. What is a mystery anyway? I think what fits into the genre may be a broader range of material than I originally thought.

One thing that comes to mind when thinking about teaching the genre is that the solving of a mystery is usually very multi dimensional and done as a group. Thing Scooby Doo… It’s the team that solves the mystery. Detectives have partners for a reason, and usually many scientist collaborate to make break throughs. This should give us some incite into how to best teach this genre to our students.

One thought I had was that students could for have partners so help solve what was presented to them as mysteries. We can use all types of modes to teach this genre. We can use music, videos food and so many more. It our jobs as educators to broaden our students understanding of what fits into the genre and what doesn’t. For example, I had never thought of science as being a mystery. Honestly, when I reflect on this I believe it could have had a big impact on how I learned science. If I was given a partner in class (like a detective) and was presented with an unsolved issue and told by the teacher “Morgan, its up to you and your partner to figure this out” I truly think I would have been much more motivated to participate. This is just one example, but I think its applicable to all subjects.

Are our students just writing biographies to learn about the subject they were assigned? Or are they solving the mystery that is how the time period, culture and many other factors shaped this persons life into what it was? I think it adds another layer of understanding that is extremely important for interdisciplinary understanding.

We can use many modes to teach this genre. For example, we give our students a piece of art and say what is this telling us, what made the artist paint this? The class watches a film or reads a poem and we ask our students to interpret the language. Poets often use clues throughout their piece to tactfully guide you to the meaning of the poem. A good poet doesn’t typically just lay it all out there to be understood. You need to dig for it, and that’s what makes it fun! Can’t we present poems to our students as just that? A mystery to be solved?

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