Who Wasted Westing? (Part 2 of a Grade 7 literature project based on a novel from Anthony Peters of Parklands College)

This is Part 2 of a guest post from Anthony Peters @apeters522, a follow-on from 

‘Let the game begin!’ ‘ posted on . Anthony is a very innovative English High School teacher from Parklands College in CapeTown who delights in using technology in his High School English classes very creatively. We are always delighted to publish posts by Anthony. You can view all his previous posts on our blog via the Anthony Peters label under ‘Quick links’ on the right side.

A quick summary of Part 1

This is an exciting literature project based on the novel The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Throughout its reading, the learners will have to decide between sixteen potential murderers who are all eager to receive a ‘$200,000,000.00 inheritance from a wealthy but mysterious businessman. However, this particular individual bizarrely predicted his own murder and has initiated a game to not only divide his wealth but to catch his murderer!

Part 2 of the mystery unfolds…

It was another exciting week for grade 7 in English with deception, decoding and paramount deviousness! The learners continued with the novel The Westing Game to unravel the intricate plot of who murdered the multi-millionaire Sam Westing! The lessons this week revealed a number of answers as well as more questions, as it appeared there was a murderer, a thief and a bomber amongst the previously innocent characters.

Learners continued reading through the text and continued to update their Clue Sheets via Google Docs in an attempt to tighten the noose around the guilty.

As with the characters, the learners were given encoded clues as well to help as well as hinder… The competition has become so intense now that some individuals even deciphered the discarded clues of competing groups! 

In some lessons, clues were even found surreptitiously placed on specific classroom chairs…the plot thickens! 

All groups in each grade 7 class were responsible for ensuring they reached the lesson and reading goals which encouraged collaboration and a great deal of responsibility. To ensure each learner understood the intricacies of the novel’s complex plot, they were assessed via a gamification app called Quizizz. 

The first two Quizizz quizzes can be found at the following links so if any grade 7 blog readers are keen to improve their knowledge, they are very welcome to play again: Quizizz 1: http://goo.gl/WQDgP5 Quizizz 2: http://goo.gl/neBkV1

These informal assessments helped maintain the fun and competitive elements of learning with the highest achievers in each group being awarded further clues to help them win Sam Westing’s game. With only two weeks to go, the whole grade is intrinsically enveloped within the novel and with such a high degree of deception from all players, it is clear that nobody can be trusted!

SchoolNet says:Thanks for this post, Anthony. It is amazing how you can make your English lessons so exciting and fun with deep learning taking place at the same time! Thank you again to you and the creative English Department at Parklands College in Cape Town for sharing another inspiring lesson with us.

Antony tweets regularly with updates on this great project. Follow him on @apeters522

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