Susan Riley | May 2015

Case File: Confidential

Case File: Confidential

In today’s episode of EducationCloset On-Demand, I’m sharing a terrific activity I used in my music classroom. In addition, one I have since adapted to many arts integration lessons.  It’s called Case File: Confidential.  Essentially, students split into agent teams and are provided with a confidential case about a specific topic or concept we are learning.  In the case file, they find details about their mission. Along with, a dossier of the subject/concept and any materials they might need to complete their mission (which are provided at their station).

Students love this strategy because they can play the role of a mysterious agent provided with confidential information.  As a teacher, I enjoy this strategy because it takes the answer out of the equation. Plus, it lets my students focus on the process of getting TO the answer.  In each group, they create clues for other groups to follow to get the answer given in the mission details.

Watch the episode below to see how I use this in an arts class, and how I translate it during an integration lesson.

Hopefully, this quick activity has inspired you to think of some ways you might be able to adapt or include it in your own classroom.  To make this a bit easier, I’ve included the template that I use for providing the mission details for students.  Feel free to download it below!


code name confidential sample educationcloset

About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan