Ruby Skye P.I. in the Classroom
Ruby Skye P.I. is a great classroom resource. It is a kid-driven, classroom-friendly online detective series. The story follows teen detective, Ruby Skye, a resourceful and determined individual whose curiousity leads her into mysterious, funny and exciting situations.
The series uses a blend of comedy, action, mystery and cliff hangers to engage students in fourth to eighth grade and to keep them thinking. Entirely violence free, the series can be used in the classroom in a variety of ways.
We know teachers who have used Ruby Skye P.I. to deepen student understanding of the mystery genre or to help students develop media literacy skills. The series is a natural in English as a second language settings and it’s great to kickstart a unit on the environment, thinking skills, communication skills, computer safety.
We’d love to hear about your experiences using it in your classroom.
Leave your tips for other teachers in the comments section or send us your lesson plans by email. We’re always looking for ideas and materials to share with other teachers.
In addition to the video episodes, our site is full of materials to help extend the themes of the series. We have both original and curated blog posts and videos on many of the topics raised in Season 1: The Spam Scam and Season 2: The Haunted Library.
Send your students on a mission on rubyskyepi.com to find out more about –
- Internet scams
- Rock Paper Scissors strategy
- Water and water issues
- Plastic pollution
- Water bottle pollution
- Auditioning and acting
- Kids who are changing the world
Our blog posts are illustrated mini-articles of between 100 and 300 words written in grade appropriate language with links to related material.
Season 1: The Spam Scam: Synopsis for Teachers
This synopsis contains *spoilers*. Reader beware.
Fifteen-year-old Ruby Skye sees her eccentric neighbour, Mrs. Gooje, behaving even more strangely than usual and investigates. Mrs. Gooje reveals that she is pinching pennies so she can have more money to invest in a charitable venture she learned about through an email from a Nigerian prince. Ruby realizes that Mrs. Gooje has fallen for the so-called Nigerian email scam and vows to get her money back. With her sister Hailey’s help, Ruby discovers that the scam email was sent from her school’s IP address.
There are other mysteries in Ruby’s life. Her best friend, Griffin has new expensive gear and is acting oddly. And the IT teacher at school has all the signs of being in love, but with whom?
The three investigations become intertwined. Ruby comes to believe that Griffin is the Nigerian scammer and even finds evidence that seems to prove he is. But when Ruby tries to protect Griffin and get him to return the money, she accidentally gives her evidence to the police. After the police pay a visit to Griffin’s father and confiscate Griffin’s computer, he is furious at Ruby.
Determined to prove Griffin’s innocence, Ruby casts about for another suspect… And finds one, in her own younger sister, Hailey. Hailey has been collecting names and email addresses on a petition to ban plastic water bottles. Ruby suddenly notices that Hailey’s petition includes the email addresses for everyone who got scammed. Plus, web wizard that Hailey is, she has the computer know how to pull off an email scam. Ruby blurts out the accusation while Hailey is giving an environmental talk to her class at school.
Now neither Griffin or Hailey is talking to her. And Ruby realizes her mistake. Hailey may have had means and opportunity, but she had no motive.
Next Ruby discovers that her teacher’s new boyfriend, Flint Shearson, is only marrying for her money.
Ruby overhears Flint talking to the new school janitor, Vinnie. It turns out that they are the scammers. Flint and Vinnie catch Ruby and thanks to Ruby’s scheming, Hailey and Griffin as well. They throw all three kids in a closet. Vinnie stands guard over the kids while Flint goes off to marry Miss Springer and steal her money as well.
The kids escape by dropping Mentos into bottles of diet cola and spraying Vinnie with the frothy stream. They escape at a run. A comedic chase scene follows with Ruby running through the wedding right as Ms Springer is walking down the aisle.
The wedding is foiled, Flint and Vinnie are caught, the money is returned to Mrs. Gooje, and Hailey has a successful rally to raise awareness about plastic water bottle pollution. But Griffin still has a problem.
Ruby is right. Griffin has been lying but not because he is guilty. It’s because he’s protecting someone – his dad. But Ruby puts the pieces together and figures out that Mr. Lane didn’t get all the new gear to give Griffin by stealing it. He got a part time job.
The story comes to a happy resolution, but Ruby is already on the hunt for new mysteries to solve.
Season 2: The Haunted Library: Synopsis for Teachers
In The Haunted Library, teen detective Ruby Skye is on the trail of whoever or whatever is making those scary noises late at night in the spooky old O’Deary Library.
Before she makes much progress on the case, Ava O’Deary, the library’s puzzle-loving owner dies without leaving a will. Without the will, Ava’s nearest living relative, Lillian O’Shyte, will inherit everything. And she plans to bulldoze the library and replace it with an adults-only condo tower. Ruby vows to save the library. But how?
With lots of puzzles and interactive content to engage young audiences, Ruby Skye P.I.: The Haunted Library is the evolution of interactive narrative and the natural next step in young adult detective fiction.
We all want to solve the mystery along with our favourite detective and now we can. Between episodes, viewers can go to rubyskyepi.com to study the clues that Ruby has discovered.
Each clue is a puzzle for audiences to solve. Some reveal hidden and additional content. And for those who prefer a lean back experience, The Haunted Library plays like an ordinary TV series, leaving the deduction to Ruby.
The property includes one hour’s worth of video narrative content, 50 behind-the-scenes and extra features video, four web sites, four Tumblr blogs, multiple social media channels, and nine interactive clues for the audience to solve, plus puzzles, games, blog posts and a whole lot more.
Like the first Ruby Skye P.I. mystery, The Spam Scam, The Haunted Library plays out in funny and mysterious chapters, each ending in an exciting cliff-hanger.
Ruby remains smart, determined, charming and impulsive, getting herself into plenty of hot water en route to a breath-taking solution