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Witton Middle School



Sherlock Holmes 

By now you should have a good understanding of the characters: Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson. After being introduced to each other by Stamford, Holmes and Watson moved into flat in 221B Baker Street in London and have been working together to solve mysteries ever since. We will be reading about one of their mysterious adventures this week called: The Speckled Band!


Read page 1 and part of 2 of 'The Speckled Band' (I have highlighted where you need to stop reading in yellow). Remember to make a note of any words you are unfamiliar with and look them up afterwards. Next, complete the questions below based on what you have read so far - refer back to the text as much as possible. 


1) What is the name of the housekeeper? 2) What time does Holmes wake Watson? 3) What is the name of surrey family? 4) What clothes does the visitor wear?


5) Find a word that means ‘city? 6) Write a phrase that shows Holmes sees Watson as a friend. 7) What aspect of her expression shows fear? 8) How we know Holmes is kind? 9) What evidence is there of the time of year?


10) What type of story is this and how can you tell? 11) How will Holmes and Watson react to what the lady tells them? 12) What do you think happened to the lady’s sister?


Read on from where you got to yesterday (highlighted in yellow) on page 2 and read until the green highlighted sentence on page 3. After reading, complete the character profile sheet for Helen Stoner and Dr Roylott - it is the same format as we used for Homes and Watson last week.


Today we will be reading on from where we got to yesterday on page 3 (highlighted in green) up until page 5 where the sentence is highlighted in blue


We now need to step into the shoes of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson and examine Helen Stoner's account of the night her sister died in more detail - let's create a case book of clues. 


TASK - Look carefully through Helen Stoner’s account and spot the important clues she gives about the events that night (there are at least 10 to find). Then fill in what you can work out from each clue on the case book template below - we have done the first two for you!


Today we are going to look at Helen Stoner's account again but this time we will be looking at how the author builds suspense through the use of different techniques. It is important that the author creates suspense (a feeling of excited or anxious uncertainty about what my happen) to keep the reader on edge and wanting to read on and find out what is going to happen. 


Possible techniques an author might use to build suspense include:

  • Use of short sentences 
  • May also include broken sentences, using commas
  • Use of simile/ metaphor
  • Use of ellipsis
  • The concept of something secret/ hidden/ barely seen or heard
  • The use of powerful verbs
  • Protagonist alone/in danger
  • Weather or strange sounds


TASK - Using the techniques above, see if you can identify examples in Helen Stoner's account and comment on the effect they have on the reader (use worksheet provided).


Today we will be looking at Dr Roylott in more detail. 

What do we now know about Dr Roylott?

How do you think the author intended the reader to feel about him?


TASK - Read on from where we last stopped (highlighted blue) on page 5 up until page 7 where the sentence is highlighted pink. Make some notes about Dr Roylott (What kind of person is he? How does he behave? How does he speak to people? How does he make others feel?)



Using your notes, write a PEE (point, evidence, explain) paragraph to describe what the evidence is telling Holmes and Watson about Dr Roylott. PLEASE SUBMIT THIS TASK ON EPRAISE FOR YOUR TEACHER TO OFFER FEEDBACK.


Here are some starter examples below to get you going:


Example 1 - Dr Roylott is a horrible and undesirable character. He is violent towards his step-daughter as Holmes observed the bruises on her wrist. Not only this, the author has also told us about the previous murder he committed! He comes across as an intimidating man as his height and huge stature are described by the author. Conan Doyle also describes his facial features as evil and compares his eyes and nose with a fierce old bird of prey. The author shows us that Dr Roylott loses his temper easily when he storms into Holmes office. The author is planting ideas that he is not a nice man and that we might then suspect him of the murder of Julia Stoner.....


Example 2 - From the evidence, we can see that Dr Roylott is a cruel and unkind man.  In particular, the fact that he comes to see Holmes and threatens him, shows that he thinks only of himself.  If he cared about his step-daughter, he would never do this.....