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Downloadable Murder Mysteries: The Case of the Unfortunate Acrobat

Updated: May 24, 2023

Looking for a challenging brainy activity for a rainy day? Check out this FREE downloadable mystery, available on Teachers Pay Teachers.

The year is 1885. A raucous crowd has gathered to enjoy a thrilling night at the circus, but suddenly, tragedy strikes! A talented trapeze artist freezes in midair and falls to her death. Foul play is immediately suspected, but who among the performers and the audience members would have reason to kill?

Download a series of letters, witness statements and mysterious coded messages, then challenge your students to work together to find the means, method and motive of the killer. Includes six letters, and four cryptic messages/photos. Solution package includes decoded messages and a final letter from the Chief Inspector on the case explaining the answers to the mystery.

This engaging, hands-on activity is an excellent introduction to a mystery or history unit, and strengthens skills in close reading, gathering information, logic, and cooperative work. Letters and clues can be printed or viewed online, and can be read silently or out loud by students playing the characters.

The initial download includes a PDF with a link to a Google Drive, where the rest of the documents can be found. Be sure to sort the files by "Name" and "A-Z" when you view them in the Drive.

Once you've solved it, please leave a rating or review on the Teachers Pay Teachers site :)


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