Sherlock Holmes: The Unit Study

Our Sherlock Holmes unit study provides literary analysis, background information, fun activities, and vocabulary lists for six of the most popular short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes in Magnifying Glass

COMING SOON: The full unit study will be available in one or two weeks.


You don't want to miss this unit study covering these stories.

Adventure of the Speckled Band

Sherlock Holmes in Magnifying Glass

Analysis of The Adventure of the Speckled Band. With this short story students learn about:

More Activities

Here are some additional activities to engage your students:

Plot Structure

Sherlock Holmes Action Plot

There is a common plot structure to the Sherlock Holmes short stories. It is similar to almost all detective stories or other literature EXCEPT for the inclusion of a pre-introduction and an introduction:
  1. Pre-introduction - Watson describes Holmes and his practice
  2. Introduction - A client presents the details of the case
  3. Rising Action - Holmes investigates
  4. Climax - The solution of the mystery is presented
  5. Falling Action - We find out what happens to the client, the criminals, and anyone else
  6. Denouement - Holmes fills in the details Watson and the readers missed.
Here is what is unique that students uncover through the course of the unit study. While each short story is a self-contained story, the pre-introduction creates an outer narrative for the entire series.

Ultimately, the short stories of themselves are popular literature. The series of the stories, because of the pre-introductions, are classic literature.

Silver Blaze

Silver Blaze Horse in Sherlock Holmes

Analysis of Silver Blaze. More reading fun and literary adventure:

The Red-Headed League

The Red Headed League

In The Red-Headed League students discover

The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb

The Red Headed League

This story has a very different plot structure than the others. In fact, we find a story, within a story, within a story.

Students have a new opportunity with this tale: to debate if this is one of Doyle's finest stories - or his worst.

A Scandal in Bohemia

A Scandal in Bohemia

In this tale we meet Irene Adler. While only appearing in this one story, her presence dominantes the series.

Ready To Use Resources

Literature Unit Study Box Literature Unit Study Box Literature Unit Study Box

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