Lauren Fulton Math

Solving Systems of Equations from Word Problems Activity | Mystery Algebra 1


This solving systems of equations activity will transform your Algebra 1 classroom into a Police Investigator’s Headquarters, where your students will become Police Agents who must write and solve systems of equations from word problems to learn who killed Mr. Boddy! This is a must-have game for every Algebra classroom.

Problem types include solving systems of equations word problems by graphing, substitution, and some can be solved with matrices or elimination.

Students enter the classroom and are given a badge & Top Secret Manual (this manual serves as their problem/suspect clue recording sheet and includes graphs and other aids to help them solve the problems). The teacher uses the PowerPoint mystery story to "Brief" the young detectives on the mystery they will be solving, then students are given a set of suspects to investigate. Each suspect claims to have killed Mr. Boddy, and students must solve systems of equations to check their stories!!

Classroom Transformation Pack Includes

  • Student Investigator Manual/Problem Recording Sheet
  • 6 Suspect Cards w/ Systems Word Problems (Dark Version & Ink-Saver Version)
  • PowerPoint Mystery Story Briefing for Introducing the Mystery
  • Full Keys & Teacher Instructions
  • Props for Classroom Transformation (Student Detective Badges, Teacher Badge, 2 Posters, Crime Scene Banner, & File Folder Label, and Photo Props for Post-Mystery Celebration)


Total Pages : 30+
Answer Key : Included
Teaching Duration : 90 minutes

This activity is aligned to CCSS 8.EE.C.8, 8.EE.C.8a, 8.EE.C.8b, 8.EE.C.8c & TEKS A.2I and A.5C

I used this resource after covering solving systems of equations by graphing, substitution, and elimination. My students really loved this activity and were very engaged.
- Jennifer L.