Mystery Flip-Flap

Mystery Flip-Flap lesson plan

Mystery writers coordinate story elements to develop surprise endings with hidden illustrations.

  • 1.

    Organized in teams of two, invite students to write an original mystery story with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils on lined paper.

  • 2.

    Once the story has been written, edited, and finalized, ask teams to use Crayola Scissors to cut a door or window (a closable flap) in the center of a piece of construction paper. In the margin around the flap, students use colored pencils to illustrate the mystery story.

  • 3.

    Open the flap. Use Crayola School Glue to attach white paper behind the construction paper. Dry overnight.

  • 4.

    Students draw the solution to their mystery on the paper behind the flap. Close it. Staple the flip-flap illustration to the front of the mystery story.

  • 5.

    Classmates read the story, look at the cover illustrations, and try to figure out how the mystery is resolved before they peek behind the flap.


  • LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.


  • Students collaborate to write an original story on a selected topic. Students create several solutions, or endings, to their story.
  • Using the same format, students work independently to write self-portraits and create a sketch to accompany the writing in the flip-flap format.