Literacy - Day Five - Sherlock Holmes

Literacy – Years 5-6
(ages 9-11)
School Closure Learning Programme
5 of 10 days
Sherlock Holmes and The Red-Headed
Gang - A Victorian mystery
Activity 1
Having read Sherlock Holmes and The Red Headed Gang, you should now be ready to write
your own. You will already have some ideas about the main characters and what the
mystery is from previous work.
What to do
The Suspects
A good mystery story keeps the reading guessing by having many possible suspects.
Invent some suspects and write a brief description for each one.
To make your story interesting and keep your readers guessing, you should give each
suspect a possible motive (reason) for committing the crime.
Motives can be based on greed, jealousy, love or hatred.
Put your ideas in a table.
Now choose one of your suspects to be the actual one who committed the crime.
Questions you could ask:
Does each suspect have a good motive (reason) for committing the crime?
Is each motive a sensible and possible one?
Have you tried to use different reasons - greed, jealousy, love or hatred?
Activity 2
A detective solves the mystery by looking at the clues. You will fill your story with lots of
clues so that the reader can attempt to solve the crime along with the detective.
But remember, don’t give too much away!
What to do
Brainstorm the clues that will be used by the detective.
Clues might be connected to each other. Think about in what order they could found.
Include some ‘Red Herrings’ or false clues that will keep your reader guessing.
It is important that all the necessary clues needed to solve the mystery are in your story, but
a skilful author will ‘hide’ them so that they are not so obvious.
Questions you could ask
Have you included enough information for the detective to solve the crime?
Have you included Red Herrings to throw your reader off the scent?
What different ways can the clues be found?
Extension Activity
This activity involves writing in another form – newspaper report.
Newspaper reports need to write about the important facts in an interesting way.
What to do
Write a newspaper article reporting on the crime that has been committed either in the RedHeaded Gang story or your own ideas that you are developing for your story.
Remember to include
What happened?
Questions you could ask:
What are the features of a newspaper report?
How have you grabbed the readers interest?
Have you included any interviews?
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