Time Required: Two 45-60 minute sessions
Skill Level: Beginner
Recommended Grades: K to 2nd

In this lesson, each student will take on the persona of a word-sleuth detective, solving mysteries behind robust vocabulary words. Students will doodle a magnifying glass to use on each clue, with the goal to uncover the culprit who stole the cookies from the cookie jar. Along the way, students will identify the type of context clue that helped reveal the meaning of a word, i.e., antonym, synonym, definition, inference or example. *Blank templates have been supplied to allow the teacher to customize the word list and clues.

Note: Any links outside of the3doodler.com are optional resources. We can’t ensure their upkeep or accuracy.

Lesson Plan


Step 1

Whole group: Share the Cookie Jar Poem to introduce the topic of this lesson.

Step 2

Share the goal: Students will work together as word detective partners to solve the mystery of who stole the cookies from the cookie jar. Along the way, they will need to identify the proper context clue to help them solve each clue on the Clue Journal Worksheet.

Step 3

Review the following context clue strategies and how they are used: antonym, synonym, definition, example.

Step 4

Model how to doodle on the Magni-Doodle Stencil to create a magnifying glass for this activity. *Student may personalize their Magni-Doodles with doodled embellishments.

Step 5

Demonstrate how to carefully read each sentence/clue on the Clue Journal Worksheet and then identify which context clue was used to help "solve" the meaning of the word. Use a 3Doodler to doodle an "X" by the correct context clue on the Clue Journal Worksheet.

Step 6

Divide students into pairs. Hand out the Magni-Doodle Stencil for partners to doodle together.

Step 7

Hand out one Mystery Words Clue Sheet and one Clue Journal Worksheet to each pair. Hand out 3Doodlers for students to "X" the proper context clue used for each word.

Wrap Up

Have pairs share the context clue they selected for each "mystery word." Prompt students to explain their thinking. There may be more than one correct answer. Share the Magni-Doodles on Twitter! @3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU


The teacher will assess the students by watching and listening as students work with their partner and share their responses with the whole group.

Possible Extensions

Students write a story about the missing cookies, and circle each vocabulary word used in the story with the 3Doodler. Students create stencils to show the meaning of each vocabulary word and then doodle it. Example: The word "evening" could be doodled as the moon. Students use Magni-Doodle to study words for context while reading.


  • antonym - a word opposite in meaning to another.

  • collaboration - to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.

  • context clues - a method by which the meanings of unknown words may be obtained by examining the parts of a sentence surrounding the word for definition/explanation clues, restatement/synonym clues, contrast/antonym clues, and inference/general context clues.

  • definition - the meaning of a word, phrase, etc...

  • example - one of a number of things, or a part of something, taken to show the character of the whole.

  • mystery - a novel, short story, play, or film whose plot involves a crime or other event that remains puzzlingly unsettled until the very end.

  • problem-solving - the process or act of finding a solution to a problem.

  • reading - the form or version of a given passage in a particular text.

  • synonym - a word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another in the language, as happy, joyful, elated. A dictionary of synonyms and antonyms (or opposites), such as Thesaurus.com, is called a thesaurus.

  • vocabulary - the stock of words used by or known to a particular people or group of persons.

Educational Standards

Common Core

Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

In This Lesson

Students will determine, identify and share the proper context clue used to understand the meaning of each robust vocabulary word.

Common Core

Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

In This Lesson

Students will recognize and read vocabulary words with accuracy and fluency.

CS Teachers

Decompose (break down) a larger problem into smaller sub-problems with teacher guidance or independently.

In This Lesson

Students will break down the process of determining the meaning of vocabulary words using context clues within a larger activity.


Use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

In This Lesson

Students will use a 3Doodler to create a magnifying glass and to identify the appropriate context clue.


Create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.

In This Lesson

Students will doodle their own magnifying glasses and personalize them with embellishments.


Use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.

In This Lesson

Students will confer with a partner throughout the design, thinking, and activity process.

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