Sunday, November 9, 2014

Harris Burdick… a real life mystery?

We continue to dig deeper into our study of the mystery genre by practicing another skill of critical thinkers and readers: inferencing. Do you know about The Mysteries of Harris Burdick? One day a mysterious author and illustrator showed up in the publishing office of Peter Wenders. He had fourteen pictures depicting scenes from various stories he had written and illustrated. He promised to return the next day with the full stories but was never heard from again. Over the years, the pictures and their captions have inspired the writing of many stories. On October 31st, our students had the chance to examine Harris Burdick’s pictures much like detectives solving a mystery. Students partnered up and inspected his images using flashlights in a darkened room. They recorded their observations, questions, and inferences on their detectives' logs. Harris Burdick's images will not only inspire mystery writing for some, we will deepen our discussion of story elements while reading stories (which were also inspired by the images) by published authors. Was Harris Burdick a real man? We may never know.

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