2nd Edition

The Great Chocolate Caper A Mystery That Teaches Logic Skills (Rev. Ed., Grades 5-8)

By Mary Ann Carr Copyright 2010
    90 Pages
    by Prufrock Press

    Reginald Van Feisty, owner of the world-famous chocolate factory, Dutch Delight Chocolates, is excited about his brand-new recipe for chocolate. But, before he can manufacture even the first chocolate bar, the recipe is stolen! Have your students discover who stole Van Feisty's famous chocolate recipe and they'll not only be great detectives, they'll be masters of logical thinking. There are nine suspects, but which one is guilty? This mystery becomes a vehicle for teaching logical thinking. In solving the mystery, students will: differentiate between valid conclusions and invalid assumptions, use syllogisms to reach valid assumptions, recognize false premises, solve deductive matrix puzzles, and decode a secret message.

    Grades 5-8

    INTRODUCTION LESSON PLANS 1 The Chocolate Recipe (optional 2 Evidence at the Crime Scene 3 Motives 4 Fingerprints 5 Making Generalizations 6 The Alibis 7 Corroborating an Alibi 8 A Secret Message 9 Who Done It Epilogue STUDENT PAGES FOR LESSONS 1.1 Does Chocolate Really Grow on Trees 2.1 Secret Recipe Stolen 2.2 Evidence Found at the Scene of the Crime 2.3 Two Kinds of Assumptions 2.4 More Valid Assumptions 3.1 Possible Suspects List 4.1 Fingerprint Analysis 4.2 Make Your Own Prints 5.1 Dangerous Generalizations 5.2 Enough Evidence 6.1 Alibis 6.2 Are There Any Holes 6.3 False Premises 7.1 At the Diner 7.2 Second Alibi 7.3 Witnesses 8.1 Facts About the Message 8.2 The Message 8.3 A Key to Decoding 9.1 Notes From Detective Abel PRACTICE PUZZLES 1 Suspects Questioned 2 Who Questioned Whom 3 Suspects’ Appearances 4 Birth Months 5 Police Talk 6 Where They’re From 7 Salty and His Reunion 8 Pizza But No Chocolate 9 Police Report—Middle Names 10 Years in the City 11 Traffic Violations 12 Identifying Marks 13 What They Were Wearing 14 Hobbies and Awards 15 Distance to the Police Station 16 Home Sweet Home 17 House Exteriors 18 Shoestring Mall 19 Food Court 20 Factory Row 21 Second Floor at the Chocolate Factory APPENDIX Certificate of Merit Answers ABOUT THE AUTHOR COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS ALIGNMENT


    Mary Ann Carr began writing mysteries for kids to solve while teaching gifted students. She has taught grades 1-7, working with gifted children as a gifted and talented education resource teacher for 14 years. She currently teaches in The College of William and Mary's summer enrichment program. Carr recently retired as a resource teacher and lives on the Chesapeake Bay in a rural county in Virginia.

    The Great Chocolate Caper: A Mystery that Teaches Logic Skills is meant for the 5th-8th grader. I used it with my 5th grade son and 8th grade daughter who have both been doing logic puzzlers from early elementary age. They jumped into this with great excitement because the puzzlers were part of a mystery they had to help solve...Through a variety of logic exercises, your child whittles down the nine person suspect list until the culprit is discovered. He will solve matrix puzzles, determine valid vs. invalid assumptions, pinpoint false premises and valid conclusions, examine fingerprint clues and decode secret messages. ,Cindy West, 3/14/11