Unsolved Mysteries

Using the Big6 Research model

Everyone loves a good mystery.  Mysteries keep us in suspense.  They make us want to know more - find out more information and even look for clues.  The best mysteries are the ones that keep you on your toes, make you analyze every last detail, and then surprise you at the very end.  What about the mysteries that never get solved?  Why hasn't anyone found the answers?

Your task will be to select a topic on an unsolved mystery.  Using the Big6 steps, you will create a powerpoint presentation documenting your research findings.

Task Definition

1. Select your topic - which mystery will you research?

Skim and select from the list of topics below.  You also may select one of the unsolved mystery links for other research options not listed.

First complete the KWL worksheet.   Select two of the unsolved mysteries below and complete each column.  Choose two you are curious about and have some basic knowledge of before completing the KWL handout.  You will have the option to select a different topic when you begin your research.


Remember to document your sources when you take notes:  

Documentation Practice


Now it's time to choose your mystery to research.


Possible Topics – Includes suggested research links:


Big Foot/Yeti:


For more than 400 years people have reported finding footprints of an astonishingly large human in the western United States and throughout the world. Real or hoax? You decide.

Suggested Links







Loch Ness Monster


This alleged sea animal, identified neither as to a family or species, purportedly inhabits Scotland's Loch Ness. Is there such a sea monster in existence? 

Suggested Links







Bermuda Triangle


In the Atlantic Ocean, bounded by the island of Bermuda; Miami, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico, is an area where planes and ships have been known to disappear without warning. The U. S. military insists it's all coincidence. But what do YOU think?

Suggested Links







Easter Island


In the middle of the Pacific Ocean sits a collection of huge stone carvings. The Easter Island Moai have been the subject of speculation for centuries. How did the native people move and carve all that stone? And why?

Suggested Links









No place has generated so much speculation and wild theories as the standing stones of Stonehenge.  The sight of this unusual structure makes people gasp. A walk around it provokes more strange feelings. There's a sense that this is something very important.

Suggested Links








UFOs - Aliens


If we study the history of the sightings related to UFO, we would come across many things that indicate a whole world of unknown truths. Still, nothing can be said for certain. Examining all the evidence, there are numerous accounts of sightings, photographs, etc.  But are these reliable?  Can you distinguish between fact and fiction?

Suggested Links






Mary Celeste


Can you solve the mystery of the Mary Celeste? Unravel the strange story of the brigantine ship, the Mary Celeste,  which was found mid - ocean abandoned ..a great mystery begins……


Suggested Links









In about 360 B.C. the Greek philosopher Plato wrote about the city of Atlantis and its destruction. People thought it was just a nice story until the 1800s, when a scholar announced that the city might actually have existed. People have been trying to find it ever since. Was Atlantis real or not?


Suggested Links







If you want to examine other options, possible topics can be located at these links:

Museum of Natural Mystery - http://www.unmuseum.org/unmain.htm

Mystic Places from Discovery Channel Canada - http://exn.ca/mysticplaces/

Search for Monsters of Mystery  - http://www.nationalgeographic.com/world/9903/monsters/


Once you have selected your topic, generate a list of questions to guide you on your research journey using your planning sheet and research question handout.

What are some questions I need to answer?

What information will I need?

2. Information Seeking Strategies

Evaluate and select your sources.

Skim over requirement sheet for the number of sources and types of sources required for your powerpoint slides.

You need to locate a minimum of one print source in the media center relevant to your topic. 

 Search engine research terms handout:

Possible terms to use in research - 

Other Search Terms


*Besides the keywords in the names of the topics, you may also want to search with these terms:









Rapa Nui

Devil's Triangle

sea serpent


Marie Celeste


3.  Location and Access

Locate sources.  Find relevant information.

One of your required sources is the database DISCUS. Discus will provide you with scholarly articles on your topic.  You can save time using this database for research because you know the information is current, accurate, and relevant.

Select the Discus icon from the Novell box on your computer. Click on the Junior Edition link, and then search for topic. 
You may also click on the Kids InfoBits link and search for more information. 
Feel free to explore and investigate this topic on the other DISCUS reference sites.

Also remember to use the keyword search with the card catalog computers when locating your print source (book).

4.  Use of Information

Extract important information by selecting relevant details.

Complete the note-taking forms when extracting important information.

Remember to summarize and paraphrase.

Use questions listed on your handout to assist you in guiding your research and to help you note the discovery of new information.

5. Synthesis

Organize from multiple sources

Paraphrase and summarize, organize powerpoint slides

Powerpoint Requirement:

Minimum Requirements:

Slide 1: Title slide containing the "unsolved mystery", student name, and date.

Slides 2-3: Introductory slide: The mystery must be introduced with an explanation of why it is a mystery. This should include a statement of opposing views or beliefs.

Slides 4-6: Supporting theories, details about mystery, etc

Slides 7-8:  Any opposing theories

Slides 9-10: Evidence (photos, news reports, witnesses, police reports)

Slides 11-12: Conclusions, which includes the student's belief based on the information provided in their project.

Slide 13: Credits – Works Cited

 Works Cited Slide



6. Evaluation

Judge the effectiveness of research process, identify what worked/didn’t work, note what have you learned about research

Complete the self-assessment survey, reflect on research process.

Teacher Resources for The Big6 Model