Heavenly Frolicking Fun

A mystery game that’s perfect for 4th of July parties or anytime!

Some famous Americans have gathered in Heaven. Their kindness towards others has been severely tested lately by the cigar-smoke blowing comedian George Burns. He has been behaving very badly. Someone hasn’t been able to tolerate any more of his unruly behavior as they have arranged to have his him sent to a far hotter place. Your job is to work out who organized for this!

Reading level: 8

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Overview

A number of famous Americans have gathered in Heaven. They are the cream of the crop in terms of their intellect and goodwill to others. But their kindness towards others has been severely tested lately by the eyebrow-arching cigar-smoke blowing comedian, actor and vaudevillian George Burns. He has obviously been finding Heaven a bit boring and he has been taking it out on everyone by behaving very badly.

In fact, one of them obviously hasn’t been able to tolerate any more of his unruly behavior as they have arranged to have his stay in Heaven curtailed and today he has been sent to a far hotter place for a period of repentance. Your job is to work out who organized for this transfer.

Excerpt

Rosa Parks: “I’d had enough of white men bossing me about when I was alive. I didn’t need another one trying to do that to me here in Heaven. George Burns was a pain.”

What they’ve said

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Invitations

Reading level

Note: The reading levels of each kit (not just “page” as it says below) were determined by copying and pasting the kit (the mini version) into The Readability Test Tool (see www.read-able.com).

Heavenly Frolicking Fun Fourth Of July game reading levels picture

Characters

The suspects present at the party are:

Benjamin Franklin

(1706-1790) I am one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Even though I was the son of a poor candle maker, I managed to take on a variety of different roles in my life. I was an author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, I was involved in the American Enlightenment and I made important discoveries regarding electricity. I invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass harmonica.

Rosa Parks

(1913-2005) In 1955, when I was a seamstress returning home from a long day’s work, I refused to obey a white bus driver’s order that I give up my seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled. And that’s how I became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation, and an African-American civil rights activist, whom the U.S. Congress later called “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”. I organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Andrew Carnegie

(1835-1919) Although I was born in Scotland, I’ve always considered myself as an American as I moved here when I was 13. My parents were very poor. I started out as a telegrapher and by my late 20s I had investments in railroads, railroad sleeping cars, bridges and oil derricks. I built further wealth as a bond salesman. I created the Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Steel Company, which I sold in 1901 for $480 million. Then I devoted the remainder of my life to large-scale philanthropy, with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, education and scientific research.

Susan B. Anthony

(1820-1906) I was a prominent American civil rights leader and I campaigned to get women the right to vote in the United States and for women’s rights in general. I co-founded the first Women’s Temperance Movement and the women’s rights journal called “The Revolution”. I traveled the United States and Europe, and averaged 75 to 100 speeches per year. I led the way for women’s rights to be acknowledged and instituted in the American government.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jnr.

(1929-1968) I am a US black civil rights leader and Baptist clergyman. I pioneered nonviolent resistance in the black civil rights movement and I’m famous for my speech “I Have A Dream”. I received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. I helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches and I took the movement north to Chicago. I also focused on reducing poverty and ending the Vietnam War. I was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., called the “Poor People’s Campaign”. I was assassinated.

Eleanor Roosevelt

(1884-1962) I was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, holding the post from 1933 to 1945. I was later nicknamed “First Lady of the World” in tribute to my human rights achievements. I persuaded my husband to stay in politics following his partial paralysis from polio, and began to give speeches and campaign in his place. Some saw me as controversial because of my outspokenness, especially on racial issues. I held press conferences, wrote a newspaper column, and spoke at a national convention. I pressed the US to join and support the United Nations and I became one of its first delegates. I served as the first chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights.

Mark Twain

(1835-1910) Samuel Clemens was my real name but I became better known by my pen name. I am most famous for writing “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. I worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to my older brother’s newspaper. I later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before trying my hand at mining. After no success at that, I became a journalist. I was praised as being a master at rendering colloquial speech and helped to create and popularize a distinctive American literature built on American themes and language. I became a friend to presidents, inventors, artists, industrialists, and European royalty. But I invested in ventures that lost a great deal of money, notably the Paige Compositor. I filed for bankruptcy and eventually repaid my creditors (even though I had no responsibility to do this under the law) and overcame my financial troubles. I was born shortly after a visit by Halley’s Comet, and I predicted that I would “go out with it,” too and I did. I died the day following the comet’s return.

Harriet Tubman

(1820-1913) I was born into slavery, and I was beaten badly by my masters but I escaped from it and I made more than 19 missions to rescue more than 300 other slaves using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the “Underground Railroad”. Some people called me “Moses”. Traveling by night, I “never lost a passenger”. After 1850 when law officials in free states were made to recapture slaves, I helped guide fugitives further north into Canada, where slavery had been abolished. When the American Civil War began, I worked for the Union Army as a scout and spy. I led an armed expedition, when I guided the Combahee River Raid, which liberated more than 700 slaves. Later I became active in the women’s suffrage movement.