Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Home

Detective Fiction for Remedial Readers

by
Ruth M. Wilson


Contents of Curriculum Unit 89.04.10:

To Guide Entry


Eighth grade remedial students are capable of enjoying and understanding the classics. Therefore, this unit will enable my students to read, to know, and to enjoy detective fiction by being exposed to the work of Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The unit will begin with a condensed biography of each author: Poe’s indebtedness, alcoholism and mental illness, and Holmes’s inference to his use of the drug cocaine. Oral and written discussion will focus on both authors’ lives and problems. Comprehension questions will be asked to determine students understanding of units work. Vocabulary presentation and a directed reading structure will be presented for expanding vocabulary, word knowledge, and comprehension. These exercises will stress grade level skills. After becoming involved with both authors’ biographies, students may become aware of the problems that beset the authors in their lifetime.

Questions to be asked: What were the destructive forces in Poe’s life? Why do you think Poe tried to please his foster father? What do you think was the major contributor to Poe’s downfall (alcohol, mental illness, or his foster father)? What was Sherlock Holmes private misery? Did Doctor Watson ever divulge Holmes’ secret? What do you think made Sherlock Holmes so unique?

This particular middle school consists of Hispanic and African-American students. The environment in which they live is not the healthiest, for the area is known to have drugs and much violence. Reading about Poe’s dilemma might remove the glamour of some of the vices. If one student sees the light, the unit will have been worth the effort.

This unit will be presented during the last marking period of the school year. As students interest wanes, due to preparing for graduation, this unit can be a change of pace. The bottom line will be the knowledge of and exposure to good literature.

Mr. David Rubin, Supervisor of Reading/Language Arts, has often stated that:

Our students deserve texts that are worth reading. Students should be exposed to real literature (culturally and intellectually relevant and rewarding) from the very beginning and in depth. Students should be empowered with the strategies that will enable them to read, and think for themselves. Comprehension (thinking and knowing how to think) should be taught explicitly and directly.

Reading instruction should focus on the whole act of reading. This holistic approach places a premium on comprehension of the reading process. It informs us that the children learn to read well by reading. Reading instruction should marry the language arts. The strategies and skills needed for reading are the same for thinking, listening, speaking, and writing. To succeed, instruction must integrate language and thought across all modes.

An instructional framework will be used to teach this unit. This means that the Directed Reading Lesson, which is composed of five steps:

1. PREPARATION FOR READING.
____PROVIDING NECESSARY BACKGROUND.
____PRESENTING NEW VOCABULARY.
2. ESTABLISHING PURPOSES FOR READING.
3. DIRECTED READING AND DISCUSSION.
4. EXTENDED SKILLS AND ABILITIES.
5. ENRICHMENT AND FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITIES.

School Climate

Students who have scored low on the Metropolitan Achievement Test given in early May, and The Connecticut Mastery Test in October, are the students who are assigned to Remedial Reading. These tests determine the student’s placement: Foreign Language or Reading. Since African-American (32%) and Hispanic (53%) students comprise the largest population in our school, they are the ones who are mainly in the remedial courses. One of the reasons they test poorly is their lack of exposure to challenging material and to ordinary social skills which we take for granted. Because of these problems, the two groups of students usually score low on the tests and so they are placed into the compensatory programs (Remedial Reading or Remedial Math). This is not to say that all of the minority students are low achievers in our school; however, a great many do lack grade level and social skills which are needed to perform adequately in school and achieve grade level. The Remedial Student reading level is usually between fourth to sixth grade, but sometimes it is much lower. If lower than a sixth grade level, I would not attempt to do this lesson.

Besides enjoying my profession and my students, I enjoy trying to challenge the students and make them use their brains for knowledge instead of idle prattle. I realize that these students are bombarded daily with “material they can cope with” but is somewhat unchallenging, such as high interest low vocabulary stories. Consequently, I think their vocabulary seldom grows or becomes enriched. The students have a working street vocabulary which daily grows. Unfortunately, this vocabulary is not the one that will help them up grade their test scores and be assigned to higher divisions.

It is surprising to know that some seventh and eighth graders have no knowledge of such words as: culprit, sojourn, euphoric, botany, memoirs, colleagues, Edinburgh, etc. These vocabulary words are unfamiliar to them because they had not been exposed to types of literature which presents challenging vocabulary.

The students for whom I am writing this unit will be in my eighth grade Remedial Reading Class. Reading detective fiction in class will be a new experience for my students. Therefore, the students will work the “buddy system.” Each student will be paired with a partner to do the day’s assignment. This system will enable them to have more confidence in their ability to “take a chance.” The teacher may do the selecting in the manner he or she chooses. The partnership system will allow the students to move from dependence to independence once they begin to meet with some success. The lessons in the basal reader and work book usually follow a particular pattern and are somewhat boring. This unit will perk the students up and give them an opportunity to interact with the material they are reading.

The objective of this unit is to teach the skills of reading and its appreciation. Classroom discussion and written exercises will be used to reinforce such skills as: verifying inferences, organizing ideas (topic and main idea), critical thinking and developing precise vocabulary. Character, plot, setting, and theme will be discussed during the course of the unit. Learning and utilizing the skills in these areas are crucial to the ability to engage in the critical thinking which these students need.

“Research has shown that: these skills are within the mental capacity of even the preschool child, these abilities do not develop as a concomitant of maturation. They must be carefully and systematically taught, using appropriate experiences and materials.”1

Setting the Stage for Reading

To prepare the class for Detective Fiction, I will introduce a paperback booklet titled “Reading Literature” by Lucy Jane Bledsoe. This paperback is written for the Remedial Readers to understand and enjoy literature. After reaching and discussing “The Case of the Missing Ring,” students will understand that a mystery is a story in which there is a secret or something unknown. Often it is a secret about who did something. They will also understand that a mystery is solved by putting pieces of the clues together (a puzzle), as in the television series “Murder She Wrote,” or his tracking down the suspect (a quest) as in “Columbo.” After completing the above assignment, the students will be ready to read Sherlock Holmes and Edar Allan Poe. The selections to be read are: “The Three Sundays in a Week,” “The Black Cat,” “The Mask of the Red Death,” (Poe), “The Speckled Band,” “The Adventures of the Final Solution,” (Doyle).

Class Input

Class will decide whether to read the short biographies of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allan Poe in succession and work with vocabulary, discussion, and comprehension questions pertaining to the authors, or do each author and his works separately. Since this will be a new class project, it would be nice to have student’s input pertaining to procedure. This will enable the students to be part of the decision making process and gives them a feeling of having participated in how the lesson will be approached. The stories to be read are abridged versions which I am quite sure most of the students can handle. There may be a few who may have difficulty with the English language; however, they will listen and learn with the rest of the class.

(Note: The following underlined words may be used for vocabulary enrichment.)

Biography of Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the oldest son of Charles Doyle, an artist. Arthur was educated at Stonyhurst College, and at Edinburgh University where he received his medical degree in 1881. He received a second degree in 1885 while studying in Germany.

Doyle practiced medicine for five years. It was during Doyle’s sojourn in the medical profession that he acquired the habit of substance abuse, the substance being cocaine. In the 1800’s, cocaine was a fairly new drug which the rich and upper middle class indulged in. This drug had a euphoric effect upon the users. Little was known of its destruction to the human body. Doyle used cocaine and became addicted to it. Unfortunately Doyle did not realize his addiction until he became quite ill when he could not get his Fix. After he realized that he had become a slave to this euphoric drug, Doyle finally gave up cocaine with the help of his colleagues.

In the 1800’s, this was a socially acceptable drug, just as alcohol is acceptable in the 1900’s. Both are known to be addictive and hazardous to our health. However, ignorance of the substance made it popular and acceptable, so acceptable that Sir Arthur made his brilliant detective, Sherlock Holmes, a user of cocaine and Doctor Watson, his loyal friend, supplied his needs.

Doyle’s medical practice was not a success. Making no money in this profession, Doyle survived by writing stories. It was at this time that he won great success with his first Holmes novel, A Study In Scarlet (1887), his first literary work. This book introduced the public to Sherlock Holmes and his devoted companion, Doctor Watson. It has been said that Mr. Holmes, perhaps the most famous detective in fiction was modeled after that of Dr. Joseph Bell, a former instructor of Doyle’s at Edinburgh University.

After writing several successful episodes of Sherlock Holmes, Doyle brought the career of the famous detective to an abrupt end in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes in 1893. However, the public liked the fiction so much that Doyle brought the admired detective back by popular demand. Holmes reappeared in The Return of Sherlock Holmes, in 1905. Eventually Holmes appeared in fifty-six short stories. Doyle was the highest paid short story writer of his time.

Sir Arthur had two tragedies in his life: his first wife died in 1906 and he lost his son, Kingsley, in World War I. These tragedies intensified Doyle’s interest in spiritualism (communicating with the spirits of the dead.) Due to this new interest, Doyle and his second wife lectured extensively on the subject. Although he is best known for his mystery stories, his writing include historical novels, romances, plays, and works on the Boer War, in which he served as a doctor.

Doyle was knighted in 1902 by the King of England. This honor is bestowed upon individuals who have given some type of major service to the British Empire. Sir Arthur deserved the recognition because millions of readers had followed Holmes’ adventures and delighted in his ability to solve crimes by reasoning, observation and deduction. Holmes the mental wizard and Watson the devoted partner were an indestructible pair. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died at Crowborough, England on July 7, 1930.

Questions to be Discussed:

1. Why do you think Sir Arthur began to use cocaine?
2. Was he aware that the drug was habit forming? Explain?
3. Do you think drug dependence hindered his performance as a doctor? Explain?
4. How many years did Sir Arthur practice medicine?
5. Give two reasons why Sir Arthur gave up his practice?
6. When did Sir Arthur begin writing his detective novels?
7. Sir Arthur had two tragedies in his life time. What were they?
8. In what year was Sir Arthur knighted by the King of England?
9. Can you name other types of writing by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?
10. Did you enjoy reading this story? (Give an honest answer).

Biography of Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts in circuit. When he was three years old, his parents died and he was taken in to live with John Allan, a merchant of Richmond, Virginia. Mrs. Allan loved Edgar and reared him as her son though Mr. Allan only accepted Edgar to please his wife. Later Poe took Allan as his middle name.

Early in childhood Edgar had mood changes. When in a pleasant mood, he enjoyed swimming, hunting, and games. At the age of fifteen, Poe swam six miles in the James River in Boston against the tide, a difficult feat. He also became a lieutenant in the junior militia corps. Poe often reverted to his moodiness and would take solitary walks in the woods or lock himself in his room to write verse. When young Poe’s close friend’s mother died, he wrote a poem “To Helen,” in her memory.

Living with the Allans was not the happiest life for Poe. Mr. Allan was extremely frugal and became a rich merchant. Poe thought he would some day be adopted and become an heir to Allan’s fortune. Unfortunately this did not happen, so after a time, the relationship became estranged. Poe soon realized that his position in the family was not secure.

Being a bright young man, Poe entered the University of Virginia at the age of seventeen. Having only a pittance for an allowance from his foster father, Poe took to gambling. By the end of the school year he owed $2,500 in debts. Soon he found that gambling did not solve his problems, it only augmented them. He became nervous and unstable and took to drinking, unaware that his body could not tolerate the allergic reaction to the substance. He became an alcoholic which made his foster father so livid he withdrew Poe from school.

In 1817, Poe moved to Boston where he had some works printed as a pamphlet, “Tamerlane and other poems”. Once again Poe found himself without funds, so he enlisted in the army. He spent two years in the service and became a sergeant major. His real ambition was to become an officer and please his father. When Poe was discharged from the service, he sought admission to West Point. Poe was sworn in as a cadet in 1830 but soon hated the discipline and the rules. Cadet Poe was expelled from the academy after eight months in attendance.

Poe married his cousin Virginia Clemm when she was thirteen. After marriage, Poe submitted stories to magazines and became a successful writer. Poe and his young bride lived with her mother, who was a sister to Edgar’s natural father. Poe outlived his wife and was devastated when she died. They had no children. Poe died in 1849 in a mental institution.

In Poe’s tortured life, he appeared to want to please Mr. Allan. Mr. Allan in return shared less and less of his wealth with his foster son until finally Poe was cut off without a cent.

In Poe’s lucid moments, he wrote the poem “Annabel Lee” as a tribute to his wife. A gifted writer, Poe did some of his best work while having mental problems. In his dark moods, it is said he may have written some of his best fiction.

Despite the two author’s addictions, both men succeeded in becoming two of the most respected suspense writers of our time. To this day our suspense movies and books reflect Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s excellence and creativity.

Comprehension questions to be discussed:

1. Name three things which Edgar Allan Poe did in his short lifetime.
2. Why do you think his foster father, Mr. Allan, was so miserly toward young Poe?
3. How would you compare Mrs. Allan to her husband?
4. Why do you think Poe had so many problems?
5. Do you think Poe was born to be a great fiction writer? Why?
6. Why do you think Poe became an alcoholic?
7. Do you think Poe’s early childhood had a bearing on his later problems?
8. Did Poe ever achieve true happiness? Give your opinion.

Objective One

I. Preparation for Reading:

The first preparation for Reading this unit is to establish background material. Motivating the students in order to arouse interest is important. A planned introduction might include the following: Place the title on a chalk board, “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Mystery Writer,” “Sherlock Holmes, world’s greatest detective?” and ask students what they know about these two? Which character is fiction and which character is non-fiction? What is the difference between the two words? What do you think we will be reading next? Why? Students should know what constitutes a mystery by this time!

Introduce Key Vocabulary from selections to be read. Discuss the words and give students concrete examples. Draw from students any knowledge they might have about the words being presented.

II: Purpose for Reading: Ask students if the first selection they are about to read is a biography or an autobiography? Who can tell me the difference? What person is an autobiography written in and what person is a biography written in? Explain? Try to get reasons for presenting the lesson.

III: Directed Reading Discussion: At the teacher’s discretion, students are directed to read the selection silently, or orally according to the reading level and attention span of group being taught. After selection is read, the teacher may want students to read a few excerpts for oral phrasing, comprehension, and general discussion. Teacher should insist students answer discussion questions with a complete sentence.

IV: Enrichment Activity: 1. Read orally (for pleasure) the appropriate selection of lesson prepared.

1. Strategy for Objective II.
____a. Teacher prints the vocabulary on the board for discussion with class.
____b. Teacher is to define and make class aware of terms to be presented.
____c. Students will work on hand-out in pairs.
____d. Students will check their answers with the dictionary.

Lesson for Objective II.

Preparation  Have vocabulary hand-out ready to pass out to class or teacher may wish to put the work on the chalk board.

Student Material  Handout, pencil, notebook, chalk board.

Procedure  Teacher will begin lesson with large group instruction. Explaining the work on the work sheet or from the board, teacher will elicit from class why we need to know and to understand vocabulary words.

Lesson for Objective II:

Read each phase below. Circle the best meaning for each word.

1. Euphoric means: 2. Being a sleuth means:
a. light headedness a. detective
b. being angry b. doctor
c. having security c. singer
3. To be a merchant means: 4. Militia Corps means:
a. store keeper a. armed forces
b. banker b. Boy Scouts
c. police officer c. Girl Scouts
5. Botany is the science of: 6. To oblige is to:
a. Plants a. accommodate
b. Animals b. be faithful
c. Birds c. compel
7. A colleague is a: 8. Crowborough is a:
a. friend a. town in England
b. enemy b. city in Connecticut
c. headache c. country in Europe
9. Observation means to: 10. Obstinate means:
a. look carefully a. to be unhappy
b. fall asleep b. to be agreeable
c. sing loudly c. to be stubborn
11. Addiction is to be: 12. Weird is:
a. dependent on a substance a. strange
b. independent b. amusing
c. extremely shy c. educated

Strategies  Teachers will pass out the work sheet to the students. Students will read directions and proceed.

Materials  Hand-out, pencils, pens.
(Note: The answers for work sheets (Objective II) pertaining to the following three lessons (Word Order, Word Scramble, and Word Match), and a few sample questions (literal, inferential, and evaluative) are located in the Appendix.)

NAME:_____ DATE: _____
WORD ORDER
PLACE THE WORDS BELOW IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER. WRITE THE WORDS IN THE SPACES ON THE RIGHT.
1. SPAIN _____
2. BOTANY_____
3. DR. WATSON _____
4. TRAGEDIES _____
5. EXTENSIVELY _____
6. EDINBURGH _____
7. KNIGHTHOOD _____
8. DEGREE _____
9. BUNSEN _____
10. EUPHORIC _____
11. ABUSE _____
12. BAKER STREET _____
13. LITERARY _____
14. SOJOURN _____
15. MYCROFT _____
16. COLLEAGUES _____
17. MEMOIRS _____
18. WEIRD _____
19. ADDICTION _____
20. BOER WAR _____
21. OBSERVATION _____
22. LODGINGS _____
23. JOURNALS _____
24. KINGSLEY _____
25. SLEUTH _____

NAME: _____DATE: _____
WORD SCRAMBLE
UNSCRAMBLE THE LETTERS TO FORM WORDS WE ARE STUDYING. WRITE THE WORDS IN THE SPACES ON THE RIGHT.
1. SHELTU _____
2. RWIDE _____
3. REAYITLR _____
4. ISPNA _____
5. RAJUNSLO _____
6. CHEPOURI _____
7. NTODACDII _____
8. YOATNB _____
9. SJOUONR _____
10. ORTNBAOEVIS _____
11. DEREGE _____
12. BNENUS _____
13. RBOE WRA _____
14. XVIEEYETSLN _____
15. RABUS _____
16. LNKSYIEG _____
17. OESULLAEGC _____
18. RBEKA ESETRT _____
19. FCTYMRO _____
20. GHIDNEUB _____
21. TGIESEADR _____
22. DSNOIGGL _____
23. EOMSMIR _____
24. DR. TNSOAW _____
25. OHDTIGNOKH _____
NAME: _____DATE: _____
WORD MATCH CODE: 432
WRITE THE WORD FROM THE LIST BELOW IN THE SPACE NEXT TO THE MATCHING DEFINITION:
____BAKER STREET OBSERVATION EXTENSIVELY DR. WATSON KNIGHTHOOD COLLEAGUES TRAGEDIES ADDICTION EDINBURGH LODGINGS KINGSLEY LITERARY BOER WAR EUPHORIC JOURNALS MEMOIRS MYCROFT SOJOURN BUNSEN BOTANY SPAIN DEGREE SLEUTH ABUSE WEIRD
1. _____ the home of Holmes and Watson
2. _____ son of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
3. _____ brother of Sherlock Holmes
4. _____ daily record of experiences or observations
5. _____ trusted friend of Holmes
6. _____ pertaining to the use of books or writings
7. _____ certificates of achievements
8. _____ friends or companions
9. _____ to make a temporary stay
10. _____ light headedness
11. _____ sorrowful, serious, somber
12. _____ the study of plants
13. _____ a city in Scotland
14. _____ a detective
15. _____ odd or acting funny
16. _____ to look closely
17. _____ places to sleep
18. _____ having given up to some habit
19. _____ war fought in South Africa
20. _____ honor bestowed by a British Monarch
21. _____ to use wrongly, misuse
22. _____ a country in Europe
23. _____ burner used in a chemistry laboratory
24. _____ far reaching
25. _____ memories written down

Objective III and IV.

The same steps as outlined in previous lesson for discussion and procedure. This objective is to encourage and assist the students to become knowledgeable, critical thinkers.

Strategy for Objective III and IV.

a. using the same format as the previous lesson, the teacher will reinforce the concept that critical thinking helps to stimulate the imagination.
b. using comprehension questions to reinforce the interrelationship between vocabulary and events helps in the learning process.

Lesson for Objective III

The activity which follows can be used as an example in presenting literal comprehension questions from The Speckled Band (Doyle).

1. Who are the main characters in this story?
2. Name four clues that were in this mystery story?
3. What is the plot?
4. What is the resolution (how was the problem resolved)?
5. Who is telling this mystery?
6. When Holmes used his powers of observation, what did he use?
7. How would you describe Dr. Watson as a friend and companion?
8. What is the difference between a mystery story that is a puzzle as opposed to mystery story that is a quest.
9. The story you have just read is a _____
Explain why?
(Note: You have just read a detective fiction mystery, The Speckled Band. Now you are about to read another. Good luck, Buena Suerte!)

Lesson for Objective IV.

This objective is to introduce character description. Remember characters are important in all stories. By reading the stories, you can get to know them and make intelligent decisions to like or dislike them. When you do this you are using your mind to make choices.

This work sheet or board work can be introduced after reading The Final Solution.

Directions  The group of words below describes either Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, or Professor Moriarty. Put the correct attribute under the proper heading.

Attributes of the Characters

____loyal, evil, faithful, cold, analytical, played the violin, faithful, observant, powers of deduction, tall, thin, dependable, genius, professor of math, medical; profession, chemist, master criminal, master sleuth, cooperative, trusted, determined, aloof, cold, diabolical, sinister, chemist.
HOLMES DR. WATSON MORIARTY

Preparation  Teacher will decide whether to put assignment on the chalk board or to use hand-outs. Teacher may follow same procedure as in previous lessons II and III.
This work sheet or board work to be done after reading a few pages of The Final Solution, in order to recognize and identify characters. Then have students complete story to see if their descriptions are correct. Teacher discretion used on how the story is to be read (orally or silently) depending upon group reading level).

Student Materials  pen, pencil, work sheet, or notebook

Assignment  Read and discuss the work with class. Then class is to work with a partner following procedures as stated in Lesson II as III.

Objective V:

Students will become aware that in a mystery story there is conflict and resolution. The conflict between persons or persons unknown. The resolution is the final answer to the problem.

Strategy for Objective V:

a. Student will interpret four sentences from current story.
b. Teacher will help students understand that reading and writing are interdependent.
c. Students will become more selective when deciding what sentences help them understand resolution.
d. Students will become aware that each story has a plot.

Lesson for Objective V:

Story: The Final Solution:
Remember: In a mystery story the conflict is between persons or persons unknown and resolution is the solving of the problem. The plot is the story line. It tells the main event of what happened.

Below are four sentences from the story. You are to underline the conflict statements.

A. 1. Holmes pitted against the genius of Professor Moriarty.
____2. Dr. Watson is troubled by the health of his friend.
____3. Dr. Watson and Professor Moriarty are arch rivals.
____4. Holmes has met another genius who is his advisory.
B. Name the person or persons in conflict. Identify the unknown conflict. Describe the resolution to the conflict
Below are the main events in “The Speckled Band” (plot). They are not in the correct order. Write the sentences below in the order in which they happened.

The snake bit Dr. Roylott.

Helen was told to sleep in Julia’s room.

Holmes heard a soft whistling sound.

Helen put the lamp in the window

Helen left Julia’s room and slept in her own room.

Dr. Roylott had once lived in India.

Dr. Roylott is dead.

The Speckled Band was the death of him.

Preparation  Teacher will have work sheet or board work containing conflict and resolution to pass out to students.

Student materials: pen, pencils, hand-out, notebook.

Procedure  “Today we are going to discuss and then do a lesson pertaining to conflict, resolution and plot. You are to read the directions and follow them. If there are any questions about assignment, clarify before beginning assignment.”

Objective VI:

Student will be aware the topic, main idea, and inference are important to the reading and the enjoyment of a story.

Strategy for Objective VI:

a. Student will read short paragraph.
b. Teacher will assist students to understand that the reading process encompasses writing and language.
c. Students will become more selective in using skills taught in previous lessons.

Preparation  Teacher will pass out hand-out or have material written on the board.

Student Materials  pen, pencil, hand-out, notebook.

Procedure  “Today we will be discussing the topic and main idea of a paragraph.” Teacher may select a paragraph from selection being read that day.

Assignment  Student pairs are to read appropriate selection or selections assigned by the teacher. After reading assigned selection, the pairs may do work sheet such as below:

Directions  Read the following paragraph and then answer the questions below.
Sherlock Holmes is known as one of England’s greatest detectives. He was cool, aloof, and known not to be too friendly. However, he always solved the crime and the culprit was caught. Dr. Watson and he always worked together sharing their knowledge about the crimes presented. Watson was Holmes’ confidant; he discussed all his cases with his close and trusted friend. Because of that friendship, Watson made it possible for Holmes to live a particular life style. This life style was not known to many people because Dr. Watson never divulged the secret, therefore, the characters never knew the Holmes” quiet problem!

1. What is the topic of this paragraph? Please underline the correct answer below.
Watson and Holmes
Sherlock Holmes, Master Detective
The Private Misery of Holmes
2. What is the main idea of the paragraph? Find the sentence of sentences that states the main idea and copy it on the lines below.
______________
______________
______________
3. Inferential Reasoning:
Directions: Read the sentences that are underlined in the paragraph above. Write what you think it infers on the lines below.
______________
______________
______________
(Note: What do you think the underlined sentences are talking about?)

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Bibliography: Teacher

1. Baring-Gould, William S. The Annotated Sherlock Holmes. New York: Crown Publishers, 1967.
2. Berbrich, John D. Crime and Detection. New York: McGraw Hill Book Co., 1974.
3. Bledsoe, Lucy Jane. Reading Literature. Castro Valley, California: Quercus Corporation, 1988.
4. Collier’s Encyclopedia: Vol. 6, Crowell-Collier Publishing New York: 1960.
5. Compton’s Encyclopedia and Fact Index: Vol. 20, Phill-Pytho, 1978.
6. Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. New York: Globe Book Company, 1967.
7. Goodman, Burton. The Reader as a Detective. Books I, II, III. New York: Amsco School Publications, Inc. 1984, 1986, 1988.
8. Poe, Edgar Allan. The Fall of the House of Usher and Four Other Tales. New York: Franklin Watts, Inc., 1967.

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Articles

1. Maney, Ethel S. “New Reading-Thinking Ski11s,” Level I and II, Pasadena, California: The Continental Press, Inc., 1979.

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Bibliography: Students

1. Ball, John. In the Heat of the Night. New York: Bantam Books, 1965.
____A police procedural mystery novel which stresses racial tension in the South.
2. Buchan, John. 39 Steps. New York: Facett Popular Library. 1915.
____An enjoyable spy story even with dated vocabulary. Can be used with an eighth grade class.
3. Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes. New York: Globe Book Company, 1967.
____Abridged mysteries adapted by Olive Eckerson which is quite suitable for middle school students.
4. Francis, Dick. High Stakes. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1973.
____A delightful mystery dealing with horses, a wealthy inventor, and a crooked horse trainer.
5. Goodman, Burton. The Reader as a Detective: Book I. New York: Amsco School Publications, Inc., 1984.
____First book in a series of detective mysteries which enables the reader to take part in the solutions of the mysteries. The reader is introduced to a new procedure of sleuthing and becomes an active reader in the process.
6. Goodman, Burton. The Reader as a Detective: Book II. New York: Amsco School Publications, Inc., 1986.
____Stories of detection, suspense, mystery, and action for the active reader. Eventually the student becomes The Reader Detective.
7. Goodman, Burton. The Reader as a Detective: Book III. New York: Amsco School Publications, Inc., 1988.
____A book that invites the student to be an active reader. Student becomes more involved in the reading of detective mystery stories.
(Note: The above series incorporates all the reading skills stressed in reading.)
8. Hasenbiller, Dolly and Mel Debulash. Crosswinds One. California: Bowmar/Noble Publishers, Inc., 1979.
____A Remedial Text Book which has many delightful stories. Text is written on a fourth to sixth grade level.
9. Poe, Edgar Allan. The Fall of the House of Usher and Four Other Tales. New York: Franklin Watts, Inc. 1967.
____Abridged short stories with delightful illustrations. The vocabulary is somewhat stilted. Not recommended for low level readers but would be challenging for higher level readers.

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APPENDIX

The beginning section of this unit was presented to my eighth grade class in June. This was to see if the students would be interested in a new approach to reading during the last weeks of school, and to help me judge if this unit would be feasible to do next year.

When the lesson was introduced, there was very little interaction between the students. However, when the class was asked to answer the comprehension questions located at the end of the story, they had difficulty doing this assignment. Most of the discussion hinged upon the fact that they just did not know how to approach the problem. Comments such as: “I don’t understand the first question. What does this mean? I don’t know how to do this. This is hard. I can’t do it.” These grumbling statements showed the lack of self-confidence the group had in themselves. After assuring the students that we had discussed everything that was mentioned in the questions, they began to settle down and be less upset. Suddenly, they began to pair off into groups and talk about the questions and what would be a suitable answer.

Realizing that this was the “business approach” to learning, I allowed the process to proceed. This team work, although somewhat noisy, produced very good answers to questions they had said they could not do!

I then decided that all end of lesson comprehension questions will be conducted in the same manner. The sharing of knowledge and ideas left a positive feeling within the class. The relaxed atmosphere broke the strict quiet barrier and they began to think.

One young man confided that he had seen the movie of the story just read, but still liked reading the mystery. “The only thing, Mrs. Wilson I knew who the murderer was.” Thanks to him, he never told the class!

ANSWER KEY FOR B: HOLMES 2 CODE: 111
WORD ORDER

1. SPAIN ABUSE
2. BOTANY ADDICTION
3. DR. WATSON BAKER STREET
4. TRAGEDIES BOER WAR
5. EXTENSIVELY BOTANY
6. EDINBURGH BUNSEN
7. KNIGHTHOOD COLLEAGUES
8. DEGREE DEGREE
9. BUNSEN DR. WATSON
10. EUPHORIC EDINBURGH
11. ABUSE EUPHORIC
12. BAKER STREET EXTENSIVELY
13. LITERARY JOURNALS
14. SOJOURN KINGSLEY
15. MYCROFT KNIGHTHOOD
16. COLLEAGUES LITERARY
17. MEMOIRS LODGINGS
18. ADDICTION MEMOIRS
19. WEIRD MYCROFT
20. BOER WAR OBSERVATION
21. OBSERVATION SLEUTH
22. LODGINGS SOJOURN
23. JOURNALS SPAIN
24. KINGSLEY TRAGEDIES
25. SLEUTH WEIRD

ANSWER KEY FOR B:HOLMES2 CODE: 127
WORD SCRAMBLE

1. SHELTU SLEUTH
2. RWIDE WEIRD
3. REAYITLR LITERARY
4. ISPNA SPAIN
5. RAJUNSLO JOURNALS
6. CHEPOURI EUPHORIC
7. NTODACDII ADDICTION
8. YOATNB BOTANY
9. SJOUONR SOJOURN
10. ORTNBAOEVIS OBSERVATION
11. DEREGE DEGREE
12. BNENUS BUNSEN
13. RBOE WRA BOER WAR
14. XVIEEYETSLN EXTENSIVELY
15. EABUS ABUSE
16. LNKSYIEG KINGSLEY
17. OESULLAEGC COLLEAGUES
18. RBEKA ESETRT BAKER STREET
19. FCTYMRO MYCROFT
20. GHIDNEUBR EDINBURGH
21. TGIESEADR TRAGEDIES
22. DSNOIGGL LODGINGS
23. EOMSMIR MEMOIRS
24. DR. TNSOAW DR. WATSON
25. OHDTIGNOKH KNIGHTHOOD
ANSWER KEY FOR B:HOLMES 2 CODE: 432
WORD MATCH
1. BAKER STREET the home of Holmes and Watson
2. KINGSLEY son of Sir Arthur Connan Doyle
3. MYCROFT brother of Sherlock Holmes
4. JOURNALS daily record of experiences or observations.
5. DR. WATSON trusted friend of Holmes
6. LITERARY pertaining to the use of books or writings.
7. DEGREE certificates of achievements
8. COLLEAGUES friends or companions
9. SOJOURN to make a temporary stay
10. EUPHORIC light headedness
11. TRAGEDIES sorrowful, serious, somber
12. BOTANY the study of plants
13. EDINBURGH a city in Scotland
14. SLEUTH a detective
15. WIERD odd or acting funny
16. OBSERVATION to look closely
17. LODGINGS places to sleep.
18. ADDICTION having given up to some habit
19. BOER WAR war fought in South Africa
20. KNIGHTHOOD honor bestowed by a British Monarch
21. ABUSE to use wrongly, misuse
22. SPAIN a country in Europe
23. BUNSEN burner used in a chemistry laboratory
24. EXTENSIVELY far reaching
25. MEMOIRS memories written down

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SAMPLE QUESTIONS

1. COMPREHENSION

B. Inferential
____1. Did the character in this story have to overcome a difficulty?
____2. What was the story really about?
____3. How does the title of the book relate to the story?
____4. Did the story end the way you expected it to end?
____5. Would you like to change the ending in any way? Why?
____6. From the point where you are now in the story, what do you think will happen next?
____7. What exactly did the author mean in this part of the story (cite examples of figurative language and ask for literal interpretation.)
____8. Do you think the author wrote this book purely for the reader’s enjoyment or to convey a message of some kind?

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SAMPLE QUESTIONS

I. COMPREHENSION

A. Literal
____1. What kind of book is this?
____2. Who are the main characters?
____3. Can you describe the story in a few words?
____4. Tell about the three most important events in the story.
____5. What part of the story did you like best?
____6. Skim the paragraph again. Then describe the main idea.
____7. It will tell the main idea of one of the paragraphs on this page. Skim to find the paragraph.
____8. Does the setting in the story make a difference?
____9. Is the author writing about people living today or people long ago?
____10. Was the time element important to the story?

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SAMPLE QUESTIONS

1. COMPREHENSION

C. Evaluation and Judgmental
____1. Who is the author? What is he trying to do in this story?
____2. Who does the author like in the story and how can you tell?
____3. If you could be one of the characters, which one would you choose to be? Why?
____4. How do you think (the character) feels at this point in the story?
____5. How did this story make you feel? Do you think the author intended you to feel this way? How did the author manage to arouse this feeling in you?
____6. What do you think . . . .is meant by these words (or actions)? What might have caused this to happen?

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