InvestigateINK by Monsters Under The Bed

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The million dollar necklace was stolen from The Arts House! And who will have the best scoop for this case?

This was the setting for a workshop that Ch attended during the September holidays. The children assumed the roles of young journalists and detectives to find the culprit in order to present the story on their local newspapers. They visited "crime scenes" in different rooms of The Arts House, interviewed possible suspects, watched videos of events, and put their analytical skills to the test to piece the story together. 

And did I mention that this was a writing workshop? 

Prior to this, Ch attended the Monster HuntINK creative writing workshop conducted by Monsters Under The Bed (MUTB) in June. She was reluctant to go initially, as she is the type of child who prefers to stay at home (how blessed you say, right?) Even on the way to the workshop, she was still showing her displeasure for having to sacrifice three mornings of her school holiday for that. 

But ...

... every day after the workshop, she shared her Monster Building experiences excitedly with us! She even got L so interested in monsters building that he was keen to create one himself. We had to get Ch to request for a blank Monster Builder worksheet to make up for not being able to send him for the workshop too. (you can read my friend's review of the Monster HuntINK workshop). So when I received an invitation by MUTB for the InvestigateINK workshop in September, I was more than happy to let Ch attend again. I know that she will enjoy herself and gain much out of it. 

InvestigateINK introduces expository writing (creative non-fiction) to children aged 6 to 12 and is part of the Imagination 'N' Knowledge series workshops. I understand that expository writing is taught in schools at Primary 5, so what better way to learn this! It was a refreshing change from the usual structured lessons in the classrooms! Even I enjoyed the workshop and benefitted from the tips given by the trainers! To add to that, this workshop was conducted at The Arts House! Centrally located and with a long heritage, you will instantly feel the aura of the building when you step in! 

InvestigateINK by Monsters Under The Bed

The suspects of the Case of the Missing Necklace were Mr Tai Po (the curator of the Arts House), Claudia Pendant, (a jewellery connoisseur) and Sam Colon (the pizza delivery guy). All three were present at the Arts House when the crime took place. Sam Colon claimed that he was at the Arts House late that night when the necklace was stolen as he received a pizza order from Tai Po. Claudia Pendant said she was given a message to be at the place if she wanted the priceless necklace that she didn't manage to auction for. As for Tai Po, it was rumored that he was heavily in debt and he could have stolen the necklace in order to get some compensation from the insurance company. And then, there was Black Lamora - a professional thief who was also interested in the necklace. So who was telling the truth and who could the main culprit be?

There was not a minute of boredom or lull moment during the three days of workshop. Under the watchful eyes of the lead detective - Detective Smith, the children were engaged in discussions about the case, and given nuggets of tips on how they should craft their scoop for their own MUTB Times. There were mystery codes to solve and clues planted around the Arts House for the children to discover. The children may have just met for the first time, but co-operation among the group members was strongly evident. 

Unscrambling the letters to find the clue
Finding clues to solve the case like a detective! Source
Can you crack the thief's code?

What else do I like about the InvestigateINK? Activities like finding clues and visiting "crime scenes" allowed the children to move around the Arts House. This helped to keep their enthusiasm and energy high throughout the three days. Being able to experience the staged process of detective work also helped the children to have a better idea of how they could present the facts of the case in a logical sequence - an important trait of expository writing. There were also opportunities for the trainers to have individual time with the children to help them improve their drafts. 

I did spot many outspoken ones who were more forthcoming in answering questions. However, there were also a few quiet ones who preferred to work alone than with their groups. Perhaps the facilitators could use some co-operative learning strategies to involve the quieter ones to share their thoughts or have a little ice-breaker game at the start of each day. Also, a point to note is that although the workshop was intended for children of 6 to 12 year old, some of the 6 year olds faced difficulties writing and needed help with spelling. 

Looking through my photos, I realise I don't have any other pictures of Ch smiling except for the one below. I had thought that she was really unhappy to have to be there. However, I was pleasantly surprised to overhear hubby and Ch discussing about the case and going through each clue that was discovered! Though she appeared nonchalant, she was actually observing and listening intently! What a super sleuth she was!

Expository writing can be a difficult style to write, and many secondary and even JC students still struggle with this. Though Ch is not yet proficient in expository essays, I am sure when she is introduced to expository writing in school, she is already equipped with some writing tips. 


Ch said "I love solving the clues most!". A big thank you, Monsters Under The Bed, for inviting us to be part of this. The three mornings were well spent and we had fun! Ch is now looking forward to the next two workshops coming up during the Nov/Dec school holidays!


Upcoming MUTB holiday workshops: 

~ HauntINK ~

A horror-themed writing workshop that is anything but scary. 

Designed specifically for the 6-to-12 age group, HauntINK features an immersive storyline with haunted mansions, century-long family secrets, and typewriters that go clack-clackety-clack at night. You will be able to interact with a host of characters, ranging from mysterious heiresses to shady psychics. Who knows – you might even get to confront a vengeful spirit or two!

HauntINK also features a strong element of exploration, in addition to roleplaying, skits, and other interactive activities. The workshop will take place in a haunted house environment that participants investigate for clues. By creating a sense of total immersion and control over the storyline, we encourage participants to pay active attention to their surroundings and be emotionally engaged at all times.

~ EnchantINK ~

INK to the Woods is a fairytale-themed workshop about a magical wood and all the stories that lead to its heart. There will be princesses and kings, fairy godmothers and witches, and of course, you, the candidates attending the ball!

Participants will learn how to write a strong, memorable character, and how to use character personality and motivation to generate stories organically. During the workshop, participants will develop their characters further through games, writing exercises, and roleplaying. Students will craft an accessory for their character as part of the workshop, and are strongly encouraged to come in costume! They will also create a fairytale starring their very own original character.

At the end of the workshop, we will throw a grand ball where everybody will get to present their story to the princess on an ancient magical scroll. The princess will also choose, with the help of the participants, the person who will be her new partner. You will have your heart’s desire granted if you are chosen, and even perhaps something more...

Registrations for the two workshops are now open! There is a special deal if you sign up for both workshops! Email if you need more info.


So who was the real culprit behind the Case of the Missing Necklace? Find out in the video below!

You Might Also Like


Looking for Something Specific?

A part of ...