The Westing Game Book Unit Activities

The Westing Game Book Unit Activities

Newbery Medal winner The Westing Game will keep the reader guessing “who did it” from beginning to end. The story opens with Barney Northrup, a fictitious person, selecting tenants for the Sunset Towers, a luxury apartment building owned by the Westing Estate. The Wexlers, the Hoos, and the Theodorakises move into large apartments. Judge Ford, Sydelle, and Flora move into a single apartment. The final apartment goes to the maid Crow.

On Halloween night, Turtle is dared to spend time in the creepy empty Westing house next to the apartment. While there, she sees a dead body.

Messages go out to the sixteen heirs to attend the reading of Westing’s will. At the reading, they learn that one of the sixteen heirs has brought about Westing’s death. They are to pair into teams. Clues are given to the teams to determine which one of them is the culprit. The person who solves the mystery will inherit $200 million. Each team is given $10,000 to make them go along with this wild game.

This page-turner takes many unexpected twists and turns. Not until the last chapter will the reader know the guilty party.

The Westing Game Activities

The Westing Game Book Unit Samples

The Westing Game Novel Study

This sample contains…

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructed Response Question for Setting

Teaching Idea #1 ~ Character Trait Cards

The Westing Game Character Cards

With so many suspects, students get confused about who is who. Download this free set of cards (including an answer key) to help students


  • Sort the character cards by the places the characters live, families they belong to, etc.
  • Use the cards to discuss suspects.
  • Make a T-Chart on a large piece of construction paper. Sort cards by guilty or not guilty.


Teaching Idea #2 ~ Character Interview Activity

The Westing Game Interview Activity

Have students imagine that they are interviewing characters from the novel. They can prepare a list of questions and answers based on their analysis of the character. Encourage students to think about the character’s motivations, feelings, and experiences.

The following materials have been prepared for this activity:

  • A List of Ten Interview Questions – You may want to cut this list down depending on the level of your students and the amount of class time you have to devote to this activity.
  • Sample Interview Reactions for Each Question for Turtle Wexler, Flora Baumbach, Sydelle Pulaski, and Chris Theodorakis 


  • Divide students into small groups and assign one character to each group. Students will write how the character would answer the questions and then present their interview to the class.
  • If you don’t have time for students to create their own interview answers, the following slides include sample interview questions and answers for students to analyze. Again, because the slides are editable, you can easily cut down the number of interview questions. Due to class time and student levels, few questions/answers might be more manageable for your students. Also, analyzing the answers provided is also a great activity for small groups. Students can learn from one another by hearing different viewpoints of their classmates.
  • Sample Answer Key Analyzing the Different Interviews

Teaching Idea #3 ~ Sunset Towers Organizer

Setting Activity

Students use clues provided in the novel to determine where each person lives and label their apartments on this organizer. You’ll find this organizer in the unit sample. If you missed the link above, here it is again.


Teaching Idea #4 ~ Foldable Organizer

Mystery vs. Thriller

You’ll find this organizer and lesson in the unit sample. 


Teaching Idea #5 ~ Wanted Posters

Wanted Posters

Use Storyboard This to create wanted posters for each of the 16 heirs.


Teaching Idea #6 ~ 3-D Sunset Towers

Sunset Towers

I love this idea by Susie Rios. Students not only draw the characters but write about them inside the window flaps.


See the product that inspired this post.

The Westing Game Novel Study

The Westing Game Novel Study includes vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.  

Gay Miller

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