Sunday, 25 January 2015

Sherlock Holmes Quest

Today was our last lesson in this semester and I'm really excited right now about strating the new Intermediate textbook in two weeks with my elder students!
I hope that all of them will stay in the group, we'll add couple new faces and start fresh and kickng right away!

I would like to share with you ideas and materials I used for our last lesson. We always try to make it special - prepare a quest or some game. Last lesson I offered them 4 topics to choose from and everybody agreed on Sherlock Holmes.

So that's how our Sherlock Quest lesson went today:

1) Find the next clue. Children teamed up into 2 groups (I have only 5 students in this group) and ad to run around the Educational Centre to find the clues of their team colour which would lead them to new clues and so on till they found the last ones that had secret words written on them. Some of the clues contained not only directions, but also small tasks like find out how to say hello, bye and thank you in German (that was in a German classroom, the teacher of which agreed to help me) and find out the EC manager's name.

2) Create your own Detective Agency. Children had 10 minutes, lots of markers and a piece of paper for each group to create a symbol, a moto and come up with a name for their Detective Agency.

3) Meeting the victim. The Agencies received their first calls. It was an old lady who had been robbed. She told her story where she and her cat Mr.Whiskers were drinking tea when the accident happened. What she saw was only a black figure climbing out of her living room window. There was only her neighbour with a baby walking down the street, the gardner who must have been doing his work in the backyard and no other witnesses. So the detectives decided to go to the gardner first.

4) Witness number 1. The gardner was a lonely old man living with his owl. He didn't want to say anything till somebody played the Story game with him while drinking 5 o'clock tea. I found this game at the EC and it's designed to spur children's imagination and develop storytelling skills. It's called Rory's Story Cubes and you can buy them either "in flash" or purchase an app, which is three times cheaper. The real dice feel great in your hands though. So the thing is that each side of the dice (there are nine of them in the box) has a picture on it. Player rolls nine dice and gets nine pictures. He needs to make up a story that will contain all of those words now.
After having played the game the gardner decided to share some info.

5) Wintess number 2. The young lady that was wallking down the street with her baby in hands that night was very nice and agreed to answer all the detectives' questions. She only needed some time to run to the grocery's and buy some milk for the baby. Meanwhile she asked the detective to look after her chiled and play sharades with him. Here I took some words from the units we studied this semester, wrote them on cards and put either S, T or D at the bottom of which card. S is for show, T is for Talk, D is for Draw, so now guys needed to take turns to get the card and either mime, explain or draw the words.
When the lady came she answered all the questions and the detectives found out that her husband saw Mrs.White's husband 1 week ago, which was really strange because Mr.White left the town 2 years ago when he and Mrs.White got divorced.

6) Witness number 3. The neighbour's house was at his workplace and worked really hard to catch up with his deadlines so he didn't really have time to talk to the detectives. The detectives decided to help him to write the articles (this man was a journalist) and therefore save him some time to talk to them. Here are the topics that I offered to my students (they had 15 minutes to write 1-2 paragraph stories):

  • You are building a sand castle and suddenly notice that the sea has brought something to the beach from its deep waters. You come closer and see that it’s a bottle with some sheet of paper inside. You open it and here is what the paper says:
  • You are walking the streets and at some point an old man and an old lady approach you. It turns out that it’s exactly you who they need for one secret mission…
  • You are walking the streets and arrive at a narrow one. All the houses there have dirty grey walls, doors and windows except for one house that stands at the very end of the street. It’s bright blue and has a yellow roof. Who lives in this house?
  • Write a story where you will mention a girl with a pot with honey, a bear, a street lamp
  • You and your friends are camping in a forest. It’s an early morning and you and your best friend decide to have a walk. You find a tree with a nest on it. The nest is full of golden eggs. One of the eggs is opening….
  • “That’s where the rainbow ends!” – Lilly cheerfully cried out loud. It was a very interesting place indeed….
  • And all over the room there were… pancakes! Here is how it happened.
After having helped the man they learned that he saw Mr.White at the Glade's Bar last week. Mr.White was talking to some tall skinny blonde guy and was pretty nervous.

7) Witness number 4. At first detectives had to find the right person at the bar buy matching pictures of young men and appearance descriptions. Once done, they started asking the tall blonde buddy questions to which he was reluctant however. He wanted to gamble with them at first. Cluedo game was very popular in that bar and the guy agreed to tell them everything he knew only if they win this game. So we played cluedo (there were 6 of us all together, so it went perfectly). Here is the Amazon link to the game in case you don't know it. I was lucky to have it at my EC, but I think you can make one yourself (I'm planning to, because it's rather expensive).
The gambler told the detectives that Mr.White discussed theft with him and ask for advice. The gambler however didn't know where to find Mr.White.

8) Witness number 5. When the detectives were leaving the bar a girl approached and said she heard them speaking and could take them to Mr.White. She showed them the house and in order to thank her detectives decided to play with her. Any game you find funny at useful at the same time would fit this step. It would be great if the game was active as well because after playing Cluedo children get tired sitting and want to move around.

9) The Mansion. So detectives arrived at the mension. It has three floors and 16 windows + 1 window on the roof. Mr.White is in the attick so to get to that roof window children need to go through those 16 first. Each window (as you can see on the picture) has a sticker on it. Some stickers tell you that you earn 2-5 extra points, some tell you that you loose 1-3 points, some give you small tasks like sing your fav English song and get 5 points, say these three tongue twisters in a raw without any mistakes and get 7 points, and some imply completing a worksheet on one of the topics of the semester.

10) The arrest. You got that old evil man! Now to finish up your quest in a fun way act like poor Mr.White, make couple jokes, say something funny, thank the detectives on behalf of Mrs. White and even draw a cell on the Mr.White's picture.

Some extras you need to/may apply:

  • Don't forget to score. Give points (and reason the number of points given) for each task. Calculate all the points at the end and reveal the winner;
  • Act out the characters. Take up the roles of the witnesses and make it fun. I printed out pictures of each witness and their house/room/office and added some character pecularities to each. For example, my gardner had an owl that he was always talking to; the gambler was stupid and talked with his mouth full; baby's mother was too energetic and active, wouldn't stop talking and so on;
  • Give useful prizes for the winners (e.g. copybook for foreign words, small English proverbs dictionary);
  • Play Sherlock Holmes OST music in the beginning and then put on some music when children work on tasks and worksheets.
I hope that some of this information will prove useful to you :) you are very welcome to try out these ideas at your lessonsand leave a comment about how it all went.

Thank you very much for reading and do not hesitate to share!

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