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Sherlock Holmes, the Speckled Band by Arthur Conan Doyle

Chez Chris
Grade Levels
7th - 9th
Formats Included
  • Zip
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Chez Chris


Do you want to introduce your ESL students to the detective stories genre ? They will enjoy reading and studying the first chapter of the classic Sherlock Holmes’ story: “the adventure of the speckled band”.

To start your unit on detective stories, you may want to download and use ourfree mini research project on Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Once your students are familiar with the author and the character of Sherlock Holmes, they will be eager to read the first chapter of the speckled band (or maybe the whole story!).

“Elementary my dear Watson”

The text may not seem easy at first but with a few readings and a bit of deduction, your students will be able to figure out:

  • The settings of the story, specifically when and where the scene takes place;
  • The different characters mentioned in the first chapter;
  • Who the main protagonists are;
  • Various information about the main characters. 

Once they are done reading and answering the aforementioned questions, your students will enjoy the group activity. 8 sentences are split in 26 parts. Your groups of students will have to reassemble the text and put the phrases in the correct order to form a summary of the beginning of the story. They will then write down the sentences in their notebook or on the included worksheet. 

The word search puzzle will be perfect for your fast finishers. You can also use it as a fun “end of lesson” activity. 17 words, related to the story, are hidden in the grid.

Included in this resource

There are 3 pdfs in the archive: 

  1. 2 worksheets, 26 labels and a worksheet for the group activity, a word search puzzle
  2. The black and white version
  3. A complete answer key

The original text is not included in the resource. It is in the public domain: you can read (or download) it legally and for free on the project Gutenberg website. 

As a follow-up sequence, though it’s not related to Sherlock Holmes, your students will love our project crime scene investigation !

If you’re looking for some more ideas, you can read our blog article (in French) la compréhension écrite en anglais au collège



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This product is for your personal and your classroom use only.

It is to be used by the original downloader only. Copying or distributing for more than one teacher is strictly prohibited. Please read TOU included in the file.

Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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