It is a proven fact that curiosity is a key element that helps for effective learning. So, what better way to instill that sense of curiosity in a child than a murder mystery, filled with suspicious characters and an intriguing plot ! Best of all, she gets to be RIGHT in the midst of it all! – as a young investigator-reporter, hungry for that scoop to make tomorrow’s headlines.
With that, the stage is literally set for the children to learn the right interview techniques, taking notes of relevant clues they can find so that they can piece them all together using analytical skills to unravel the murder mystery before anyone does, or before the murderer escapes!
Conducted in the Arts House (the Old Parliament Building) with colonial interiors, creaky floorboards and heavy timber doors, the team behind the InvestigatINK camp had ingeniously piqued the young investigators’ curiosity with simulated crime scenes in different rooms, replete with physical clues and “witness” actors. The children were tasked to act as reporters in competing newspapers, who will attempt to identify the culprit and motives. Through all these, they learn to pen their first accounts of a murder mystery in an expository genre.
Combining elements of effective questioning techniques, creative plot setting along with some vivid ‘live’ acting by the coaches, our little investigator was so excited each of the 3-days camp that she literally jump out of bed and pestered to be sent to solve the mystery!
But it is not mere child’s play. Infused within the fictional plots are real-life, practical creative writing strategies using an inquiry-based approach. Kids are grouped into smaller clusters and guided by a coach (who doubled-up as one of the suspects in the murder mystery). Individual attention is given to guide the young writers to develop fluency and enhance their delivery and expression. They are also encouraged to articulate their ideas with the coaches so that the rest can learn alongside and there are plenty of time given to put their thoughts into words.
At the end, a newspaper collage complete with headlines and photos are produced by our first-time reporters with their very own articles! How cool is that?!
Kudos to the Monsters Under The Bed team for conducting such enjoyable holiday camps which dispel the notion that writing is a chore and puts the fun back into creative writing. Do note that children attending the InvestigatINK camps should possess basic writing proficiencies (of P1 or 2 at least). Dana, being one of the youngest participants needed a tad more hand-holding as it was her first attempt at (expository) writing. We’re heartened that her passion for writing has been ignited and we will gladly send her back for more.
Thank you MUTB for having us!
About Monsters Under The Bed
Monsters Under The Bed is a homegrown writing school that’s started by writers, for writers. They’re not about model compositions or pushing commas around; they teach students to exercise their creativity, and write stories good enough to publish. Besides Holiday Camps, they also conduct In-House Classes, School Programmes and Workshops. Do check out their Website and Facebook Page to get the latest updates on their camps and programmes!
P.S. Hop over to Tan Family Chronicles to read their review of the camp!