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ERIC Number: EJ849641
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Increasing the Relevance: A Who Done It Mystery
Peterson, Nancy
Social Education, v73 n4 p184-186 May-Jun 2009
In this article, the author describes the approach she used to teach American government to high school seniors. Beginning with a court procedure unit, the central strategy she used for this unit was a murder mystery that peaked the students' curiosity and encouraged them to think like scientists and lawyers. The court procedure lesson uses a variety of teaching methods. To teach a concept, daily class discussion and notes are given; on other days, students participate in role-play. The lesson culminated with a two-day trial. Researchers from the Research Institute for Studies in Education at Iowa State University evaluated this project. Dr. Matt Feldmann and Dr. Mack Shelley's research found that: (1) The new units conveyed appropriate conceptual understanding of the content; (2) The new unit engaged and maintained student interest; (3) The teachers found the new unit to be usable; and (4) The new unit worked well for students with diverse learning styles. (Contains 2 figures, 4 resources, and 4 online resources.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A