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Secret Agent Stan


Return to It's a Mystery!



  • Arts & Humanities
  • Mathematics


  • 3-5
  • 6-8

Brief Description

Help an old gumshoe find his way in a new era of investigative work!


Students will
  • respond to questions about material read.
  • calculate both time and money.


mystery, detective, math

Materials Needed

  • Copies of the Secret Agent Stan Worksheet for all students
  • Overhead projector (optional)
  • Overhead with Secret Agent Stan's Log, or copies of the log for students

Lesson Plan

Read aloud to students the following introduction to begin this activity:

Secret Agent Stan is a man out of time. He comes from the days of crooks and dames, but now the gumshoe who once ran his own detective agency works for a national corporation. They've given him a number, and taken away his name! A few notes scratched on a gum wrapper used to meet the needs of his cases, but he is now required to keep a "log" of the time he spends on surveillance duty. And although he used to take a few bucks from petty cash to cover his meals, the "big guns" at corporate want him to itemize.

Worst of all is Stan's new manager. Her pretty face hides an evil mind. Let a robber slip while kissing persuasive lips? She'll make you to pay up! You must be careful what you say, or you will give yourself away. Stan loves the life of danger, but this is enough to make even the heartiest agent want to escape the business. Odds are he won't be around tomorrow.

Stan's current crisis is that he cannot recall his identification number. Thankfully, he does remember that all of the numbers and letters can be found in his log from February 14. On that day, Stan was assigned to watch the husband of Mrs. Maryd A. Skeemer. His wife sensed that he was up to something, but Stan's surveillance didn't reveal much. Answer the questions on the worksheet by using this log. Then copy your responses from the boxes in order to reveal Stan's new handle.

Distribute copies of the Secret Agent Stan Worksheet. Post Stans Log on an overhead projector so student can use it as the solve the mystery, or distribute copies of it to the students. Students may work individually, with partners, or in small groups by teacher preference.

Extension Activity
There is some unique vocabulary in this activity. You might invite students to share their thoughts about what the following expressions in the activity mean:

  • blonde dish (means blonde woman)
  • hush-hush (means quiet)
  • pow-wow (means meeting)
  • chews the fat (means talks to/with)
  • dressed to the nines (means dressed well)


Answer Key:
1. 20 minutes; 2. 2 hours and 22 minutes; 3. 5 hours; 4. 10 hours and 13 minutes; 5. $3.25; 6. $20.79; 7. $5.54; 8. $29.58.

Think About It!
Hez A. Skeemer (the subject) was likely planning a surprise dinner for his wife on Valentine's Day. He met with a caterer at Latta Java, bought a heart-shaped box of candy at the store, purchased flowers at the florist, hired a musician at Valentino's, and got jewelry at the jewelry store. He picked up his children at school and dropped them off at their grandma's house. He then went home to get ready for dinner. The caterer brought the food and the musician came to play for the couple.

Stan's Identification Number: 2250150598

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Cara Bafile

National Standards


MATHEMATICS: Number and Operations
  • GRADES 3 - 5

  • NM-NUM.3-5.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
    NM-NUM.3-5.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
    GRADES 6 - 8
    NM-NUM.6-8.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
    NM-NUM.6-8.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
MATHEMATICS: Problem Solving
    GRADES Pre-K - 12
    NM-PROB.PK-12.2 Solve Problems That Arise in Mathematics and in Other Contexts
MATHEMATICS: Connections
    GRADES Pre-K - 12
    NM-CONN.PK-12.3 Recognize and Apply Mathematics in Contexts Outside of Mathematics

Click to return to this week's Lesson Planning article, It's a Mystery!

Originally published 02/14/2003
Last updated 10/07/2010