Mystery stories, diary entries, dialogue, setting description (atmospheric description), captions and titles
Overview and Outcomes:
This is a three-week planning sequence that uses The Mysteries of Harris Burdick and also makes reference to The Chronicles of Harris Burdick and the Harris Burdick Website. Children begin by exploring the illustrations and creating mystery setting descriptions, using a variety of grammatical and authorial tools, going on to creating action, suspense and drama in their middle-sections and endings. In the final part of the sequence, children write their own mystery stories, based upon a place of local interest, of which they have collected photographs or images, and publish them in a class collection for others to read.
Synopsis of Text:
Who is Harris Burdick? Where did he disappear to? And how was he going to finish his stories?
Chris Van Allsburg presents a series of loosely related drawings each accompanied by a title and a caption which the reader may use to make up his or her own story.