Activity

Mario Mystery at the Mansion: Who Took Peach?!

Students work in groups to solve the mystery - a game I play at the end of the year with my JHS 1st graders or as a welcome back to English class when they come back in April as 2nd graders!

A fun way to wind down or kick off the school year. It takes a bit of time to prepare everything, but my students really enjoyed this interactive game!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Clue Station Signs
- Print, cut, and laminate Yoshi’s Clue and white board markers for the word search
- Print, cut, and laminate Luigi's Clue and envelopes to keep the pieces together
- Print and laminate Wario’s and Diddy’s Clues and Keys
- Prints of student worksheets
- A computer with PowerPoint (Google Slides won’t work for Mario’s Clue or the Intro Story)
- A TV to connect to your PC for the Introduction Story powerpoint.
- Optional Group Station assignments, printed, cut out, and laminated
- Optional Stickers or some small prize for the winning groups

SETUP
I think this activity works best for up to 6 groups. You can make extra Clue Stations if you have bigger classes, though.
I have an English room at my school, so I taped up the Clue Station signs around the room before class started, so as the kids are walking in they notice the signs and start building excitement for the day’s class!
If you don’t have an English room, I highly suggest getting to the classroom early so you have time to tape things up and get organized.

I don’t place the clues at the stations until after I’ve set the stage for the game and explained the rules. This prevents the groups from looking at the clues and getting a head start.

INTRO + GAMEPLAY
First, I show the introduction story PowerPoint. I suggest really hamming it up as you read through the story. I always let out a Toad-like WAHHH when the gif plays.

After the story, tell the students that today they’re going to be detectives. They must solve different English puzzles to find who kidnapped the princess. There are 5 suspects: Mario, Luigi, Wario, Diddy, and Yoshi. At this point my students are looking around the room for the different stations, and when I get to Yoshi they’re all “ヨッシどこ??” Ignore them and keep explaining the rules while passing out the worksheets. I make a rule that every group member must fill out their worksheets, or they can’t win. This is to prevent unmotivated kids from checking out, they’re groupmates will make sure they finish.

Let them know how they’ll move about the room, from station to station, and in what order. This is when I pass out the Group Station Assignments. Then I quiz the groups like ‘Group 1, where is your 2nd station?’ to make sure they have a grasp on where they’re going. My next rule is that groups must stay together! They cannot move to the next stations without their group, or walk around to their friends’ groups to chat. If they do their group may be disqualified from winning. They will have 4 minutes at each station.

This is when I tell them about Yoshi’s Clue.
‘Yoshi’s Clue is the last clue. To get Yoshi’s Clue, your whole group must finish writing ALL other clues. I will check every group and then give you Yoshi’s Clue.’

Around this time I start placing the clues at the Clue Stations. Make sure to place them face down/envelopes closed and emphasize to the students NOT to open the clues yet.

I disconnect my laptop from the TV and open Mario’s Clue PowerPoint on the teacher's desk, set a timer for 4 minutes, ask if the students have any question, if not then have first group assigned to Mario’s Clue come to my laptop, start the timer and let the students open the puzzles.
I control Mario’s Clue and have the JTE walk around monitoring the other stations.

After every group has had a chance to go to every station, I have the students return to their desks. I ask if any groups need to go back to any station, check the worksheets of the groups who have completed every clue, hand them Yoshi’s clue face down. Once every group either has Yoshi’s clue or is at the station they need to complete I tell them ‘GO!’ and they can open Yoshi’s clue/start the puzzle they didn’t finish. While the kids are working I reconnect the Intro Story Powerpoint to the TV and keep it on the third to last slide of the castle with the game title.

The fastest group to come to me with every member’s completed (and correct) worksheet, tells me who the kidnapper is. If they are correct, they’ll get stickers at the end of the class. Once all the other groups have finished or the bell rings, I have the winning group say who is the kidnapper, and go to the last slide of Luigi being locked up.

THE CLUES

Mario’s Clue is a version of hangman I made a while ago. Students guess a letter. If it’s apart of the hint, it will appear on the lines. If not the red ‘X’ will spin. Click the ‘X’ and one of the Plant’s teeth will appear. They have 5 wrong guesses until a Piranha Plant come out dancing. If they lose the 1st slide, I move on to the 2nd slide and tell them these are the last two words of the clue, pointing it out on their worksheets where they should be writing. If they lose the 2nd slide, I let them go back to the 1st slide (cleared) if they need or clear the 2nd slide and let them keep trying until times up. (To clear the slides, go back to the title slide using your keyboard arrows.)
Mario: ‘I WAS PLAYING VIDEO GAMES WITH DIDDY’

Luigi’s Clue is a classic puzzle. They have to find what order the letters go in to spell out the clue. Make sure to shuffle well before you start the game, and that after each group is finished with Luigi’s Clue have them shuffle as well.
Luigi: ‘I WAS PLAYING VIDEO GAMES WITH YOSHI’

Diddy’s and Wario’s Clues are both code breaking clues. Students have to use the Keys to interpret the Clues
Diddy: ‘I WAS PLAYING VIDEO GAMES WITH MARIO’
Wario: ‘I WAS PLAYING BOARD GAMES WITH YOSHI’

Yoshi’s Clue is a word search. There's a word box at the bottom, ‘PLAYED, VIDEO/BOARD, GAMES, WITH, MARIO/LUIGI/WARIO/DIDDY,’ they must find either video OR board in the word search and the name of the character to solve Yoshi’s clue.

Yoshi: ‘I PLAYED BOARD GAMES WITH WARIO’

Have fun!

Files:
Small files
  • Yoshis Clue FINAL.docx (198 KB)
  • Mario Mystery Game Worksheet.docx (500 KB)
  • Group Station Assignments.docx (38 KB)
  • Medium files (requires an account to download) -
  • Mario Mystery Intro.pptx (6.6 MB)
  • Clue Station Signs.docx (1.15 MB)
  • Luigi Diddy Wario Clues.docx (1.44 MB)
  • Mario's Clue Hangman.pptx (9.16 MB)
  • Mystery at the Mansion Example Setup.pptx (38.3 MB)
  • 11
    Submitted by ohnoko March 8, 2024 Estimated time: 40-50 minutes (I do a warmup of the 'May I give you a bomb' game by Jake W to fill up the first few min of the class)

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