At a Glance


  • Languages
  • General

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP


  • Français langue seconde

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual
  • Group
  • Whole Class

Type of Tasks

  • Discussing
  • Solving problems
  • Analyzing
  • Reading
  • Presenting

Technical Details

Class size

  • Small (20-49)


  • Single class period (< 90 mins)

Instructional Purpose

  • Preparation & knowledge activation
  • Application & knowledge building


In this activity, students are expected to identify 4 suspects to the murder in the novel (the conclusion to the novel is open ended, it is unclear whether or not the murder was caused by rational or supernatural causes). For each of the suspects, the students must discover their motive, must outline clues/evidence which incriminate them, and the way the crime was committed by each of the characters.

Before class, students are expected to read the text and answer questions in the dossier given by the teacher about the narrative strategies and broad themes (not directly related to finding suspects for the murder). In class, in groups of four, the students have to find quotes to back up their accusations, they fill out a document for each of their suspects in their groups. Once the students have compiled all the motives and evidence, each group presents their case to the professor who acts as the judge.

After the teacher has been convinced by their cases the groups come together and discuss the evidence they compiled and the stronger cases/most convincing suspects.

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes

  • This activity helps students realize the tension between the rational and supernatural explanations in fantasy literature and helps students see beyond their expectations of always finding a rational or fantastical conclusion. Rather than assuming, because it is a fantastical knowledge, that the death in the novel was caused by the supernatural, students are forced to think as the narrator in the novel (expecting a rational explanation);
  • For a literary text, analysis is not an immediate process, this makes it difficult to monitor the way in which students read a text. This activity helps students approach it in a more playful/fun way.
  • Sometimes the group work is not distributed evenly as they have not equally prepared;
  • The size of the class, it is sometimes difficult to monitor all of the groups to ensure they are on the right track.
  • Give them tips in order to make sure that the students do not get discouraged. Giving them a few passages to focus on to help feed them some information from which to springboard off of;
  • Giving students a dossier to guide their reading (things to pay attention to, aspects to focus on etc…) helps students prepare adequately for the activity;
  • Give each student the responsibility for coming up with one suspect before they help each other in order to make sure that everyone is participating in the group.


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