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Critical Thinking Detective™ – Vocabulary Book 1

Fun Mystery Cases to Improve Vocabulary

Grades: 5-12+

Critical Thinking, Language Arts

Grades: 5-12+

Critical Thinking, Language Arts

  •  Multiple Award Winner
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Description & Features

This is the fun way to learn new vocabulary! These popular, easy-to-use detective cases are suitable for Grades 5 – 12+. The vocabulary in these mysteries was gathered from a multitude of sources including SAT and ACT word lists and the author’s reading selections. Merriam Webster’s online dictionary provided many of the details about the words including usage, look-up history, synonyms and antonyms.

Students must identify the meaning of new vocabulary as they try to uncover the subtle clues hidden in the statements from witnesses and suspects. Each mystery features between 16 and 25 vocabulary words and every one of them requires careful reading, critical thinking, and synthesizing information to identify the innocent and guilty. The cases also develop observation skills, reading comprehension, deductive and inductive thinking skills. Learning to identify and evaluate evidence is the very heart of critical thinking.

After solving each case, the second part of the activity gives versatility to the vocabulary words as students practice using them in a different context. Readers choose the appropriate word from the word list to complete each sentence. When the word lists contain synonyms, students have flexibility in their choices.

These activities and their vocabulary words are not easy, but don’t despair. If you take the time to decipher the unknown words and reread, you’ll have sharper critical thinking skills and an expanded vocabulary.

For more critical thinking and detective fun, please see the complete Critical Thinking Detective series and Something's Fishy in Lake Iwannafsha.

Product Details

Item#: 11631BBP
Author(s): Diane Hartsig
TOC: View Table Of Contents
Type: Student Book with Answers
Media: Paperback Book
License: Reproducible
ISBN–13: 978-1-60144-940-5
Pages: 40, color, perforated


Creative Child Magazine 2018 Book of the Year Award, Educational Books for Kids Category The Old Schoolhouse Magazine - Homeschool Blue Ribbon Award for Favorite Middle School Product Tillywig Brain Child Award, 2017

Product Reviews Write a review for this product

"Students learn a wide range of vocabulary words, but with a twist; there is a mystery involved. See, it is already fun and not the typical way to learn vocabulary. Bottom line - The Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary Book 1 is a fun way to learn vocabulary." - Jennifer S, Homeschool Review Crew
"Each lesson is a detective case, focusing on problem-solving and instilling new vocabulary in their speaking repertoire. Students are taught to use observation skills, reading comprehension, and deductive/inductive thinking skills to discover the meaning of vocabulary terms. I asked my son how he liked Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary and he was commendatory (favorable) to it. He especially enjoyed reading the case and determining who was the guilty suspect. I was thankful he did not give an excoriation (scathing disapproval)." - Natalie F,
"My son thought the mysteries were quite challenging which made the book entertaining and educational at the same time. There were many words that he didn’t know, so it extended his vocabulary. He said the words that he did know helped him to narrow down the choice of subjects some of the time. I liked that the sentences in the lessons were numbered. This helped for being able to go back and discuss. The answers also referred to the numbered sentences. The vocabulary words were challenging and the mystery stories were entertaining. The answers in the back of the book with complete explanations of how the guilty subject was found based on the sentences provided were helpful. The answers also included a list of synonyms for the vocabulary words." - Kim, NC
"Each lesson is set up as a mystery that you have to solve and includes 18-25 new vocabulary words. In order to solve the mystery you have to understand the new vocabulary words that are used in the story. In addition to being a vocabulary lesson it was an opportunity for critical thinking and being sure they were paying attention to details. Each sentence in the case was numbered and the back of the book included an answer key with an explanation. The explanation used the sentence numbers to help the students find where the clues were and better understand the answers that were given if there were any questions or confusion. The children both enjoyed it and were excited to do more lessons which has honestly never happened for us with a vocabulary program before." - Dawn Peluso, Schoolin’ Swag