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Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery is a traveling exhibition produced and toured by WonderWorks Exhibits Company.

Educator’s Guide Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery is a traveling exhibition produced and toured by WonderWorks Exhibits Company. WonderWorks Exhibits Company 2438 Industrial Blvd. #104 Abilene, TX 79605 (325) 692-8811

For information about bringing Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery to your institution, visit our website: You may also call Jack Hull, Traveling Exhibits Coordinator: (325) 692-8811

Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery Educator’s Guide

Introduction to the Exhibit Welcome to the Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery exhibit. This Educator’s Guide (EG) will help to orient you to the Museum, prepare your class for their visit, and provide context for information learned during their visit through post-visit activities. This EG contains the following information: • • • • •

About the exhibit Preparing your class Curriculum ties Classroom activities Resources available

There are a few guidelines to keep in mind: • Please plan to arrive at the museum 15 minutes prior to your scheduled programming start time. Staff cannot guarantee a full program if you are late. The program lasts approximately one hour. • Students are NOT assigned a Museum Interpreter for the program. Instead, they are met in the Museum lobby by a Guest Services staff member who guides visitors to the beginning of the Sherlock Holmes Exhibition. There, students are given a detective guide and pencil and enter the exhibition in groups of 4-6, a few minutes apart. The final consultation with an actor playing a character role happens every 20 minutes. Students and their chaperones need to time their own entry to the consultation room. • The Sherlock Holmes exhibit requires careful reading, listening and observation on the part of would-be mystery solvers. Therefore, please make sure that accompanying adults keep students on-track with the assignment at hand. • Adults accompanying the school group are expected to maintain order and model a respect for the objects and premises during the visit. Please encourage your chaperons to do so.

Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery: Educator’s Guide


What is the Sherlock Holmes Exhibit? Think of this exhibition as an interactive short-story. Set in Victorian England using the stylistic motifs and literary jargon of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A murder is revealed a body is found, a culprit is at large. Yes, there’s a fair bit of reading to be done, but there are also period rooms crammed with clues, conversations meant to be overhead, and “cheat sheets” for those who are perplexed. The exhibition is divided into eight “chapters”, each with an accompanying period room and evidence panels. Students use their clues sheets to record their observations, their suspects and their hypotheses regarding the perpetrator of the crime. Students are encouraged to go back to earlier chapters if they need to re-examine some aspect of the case that is puzzling them. The first locale is the clocktower, where a murder has taken place. The other seven “sets” that compromise the exhibit range from the clocktower to a seamy dock-side garret. While walking through these scenes, students are given clues to the mystery surrounding the murder. These clues-carefully placed as physical evidence among the many period objects in the rooms- are handwritten police reports, overheard sound tracks of interviews, printed summaries of the events and even tell-tale odors. Each scene is laden with clues and “red herrings.” At the end of the exhibition, students are invited into a room by a character actor who guides them through their thought process, and illuminated any loose ends. This interactive portion of the exhibit allows students to test ideas, seek more information, and feel a sense of completion as they wrap up the crime. After perusing the exhibit and its clues for about 45 minutes, the conclusion session lasts about 15 minutes.

Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery: Educator’s Guide


How do I prepare my class for a visit to the exhibit? Although classes can come with very little in the way of preparation, it is probably best to devote at least one class to the topic of the mystery genre, Victorian England, and Sherlock Holmes. The enclosed biography of Arthur Conan Doyle, the article on Sherlockian motifs, the Sherlock Holmes’s World Wordsearch, and the recommended resources will be of help to you. If you are studying short stories, or about to begin a unit on short stories, make sure students know that the character of Sherlock Holmes was first introduced as a number of serialized short stories that appeared in The Strand magazine. You may choose to read one short story (see Resources section of the EG) to or with your class beforehand, or wait until after your visit. Ask your class these questions, either before or after distributing/discussing the enclosed biography: • • • • • •

Does anyone know who Sherlock Holmes is (What do you know about him?) Is Sherlock Holmes real or fiction? Who wrote Sherlock Holmes stories? Has anyone seen a Sherlock Holmes television series or movie? When was Sherlock Holmes written? When/where do the stories take place? Who is Sherlock Holmes’s sidekick? (As the chapters that the students will be reading in the exhibition are true to Conan Doyle’s style, they are written from Dr. Watson’s first person point of view)

How does this exhibit tie to your schools curriculum? This exhibition is an excellent resource in the English Language Arts curriculum, particularly for any class studying short stories, and/or Victorian Literature or History. It is also a strong teambuilding exercise and makes a good activity for students interested in Leadership. The investigative aspects of the exhibition are also of interest to students studying Law and Applications of Science. Students are exposed to literature, deductive reasoning and physical science. Critical thinking and deductive reasoning skills As mentioned above, a visit to this exhibition is a wonderful introduction to short stories, or a fun way to wrap up a short story unit.

Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery: Educator’s Guide


What can I do back in the classroom? In addition to reviewing what the students now know about Arthur Conan Doyle and the character of Sherlock Holmes, a great way to reinforce what the students have learned is to read a Conan Doyle short story. The story “A Scandal in Bohemia” is a good one to start with: not only does it introduce Sherlock Holmes and many of the motifs that have become familiar, but it is the first short story of Conan Doyle’s to be published by The Strand magazine in June of 1891. (see Resources for more information). After reading a Conan Doyle short story, ask students what they thought of the writing, of the characters, and the plot. What things surprised them? Then let them have a hand at creating their own mystery story, using a character of their own, or creating a new Sherlock Homes mystery. After reading the “Holmes’s Supporting Cast” handout, have the students make a list of props that they associate with other fictional characters: Bugs Bunny, Harry Potter, or characters from other stories/novels they have recently read. Why do authors use these props? What purpose do there serve? After reading the enclosed biography, give students the worksheet to complete. Once they have done so, lead a discussion of some of the points that seem to interest them. Feel free to alter this sheet for your class’s reading level.

Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery: Educator’s Guide


What resources are available to me? Included with this guide are: • • •

Biography of Conan Doyle (with blackline worksheet for students) A short article, Holmes’s Supporting Cast Sherlock Holmes’s World Wordsearch

Other informative websites are: This free site has all of Conan Doyle stories that are in the public domain (including “A Scandal in Bohemia”) available to download and print out. This is the Official web site of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate. It includes a specially written biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and you can find information on his books and the films which were inspired by his writing. An extensive Sherlock Holmes site. Including a short biography of Arthur Conan Doyle, links to publications, sound files from the Granda T.V. production of the Sherlock Holmes Mysteries and much more. Site for the Sherlock Holmes Society of London. Founded in 1951, the Society is open to anyone with an interest in Sherlock Holmes, Dr John H. Watson and their world. It is a literary and social Society, publishing a scholarly Journal and occasional papers, and holding meetings, dinners and excursions. Free lesson plans for many of Sherlock Holmes stories. Another great free site to download Sherlock Holmes stories. Contains information on Conan Doyle and Victorian London and the Sherlock Holmes adventures.

Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery: Educator’s Guide


Arthur Conan Doyle A Brief Biography Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created one of the most enduring literary characters of all time, the master detective, Sherlock Holmes. Although he wrote many other novels and stories as well as working as a war correspondent and a medical doctor, he is most well known for the creation of his famous sleuth. Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on May 22, 1859. He was one of ten children born to a family of Irish Catholic extraction and modest means. Mary Doyle, Arthur’s mother had a passion for books, was a master storyteller and instilled this passion in Arthur. When Arthur was nine he was sent to spend the next seven years at a Jesuit boarding school in England These were grueling years for Conan yet he found enjoyment writing letters to his mother, playing sports, mainly cricket, and developing his skills at storytelling to his friends. Conan then pursued a medical degree at Edinburgh University. While attending medical school, he met a number of future authors including Robert Louis Stevenson. But the man who most impressed and influenced him was one of his teachers, Dr. Joseph Bell. He was a master at observation, logic, deduction and diagnosis. All these qualities were later to be found in the persona of the celebrated Sherlock Holmes character. When Conan was 20 years old and in his third year of medical studies he was offered the job of a ship’s surgeon on the Hope, a whaling boat leaving for the Artic Circle. He took the job and later said that the Artic had “awakened the soul of a born wander”. He returned to medical school and upon graduation was the medical officer on several ships which sailed between Liverpool and the West African Coast. He eventually set up a medical practice in Southsea, England. During the next few years, the young man divided his time between trying to be a good doctor and struggling to become a recognized author.

Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery: Educator’s Guide


In 1885, he married Louisa Hawkins (also known as “Touie”). In 1986, he began writing the novel which would catapult him to fame. Two years later this novel was published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual, under the title A Study in Scarlet which first introduced us to the immoral Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Conan Doyle however much preferred his next novel Micah Clark, which was well received but today is almost forgotten. This marked the start of a serious dichotomy in the author’s life. There was Sherlock Holmes, who very quickly became world famous, in stories its author considered at best “commercial” and there were a number of serious historical novels, poems and plays, based upon which Conan Doyle expected to be recognized a serious author. Conan Doyle’ began a series of short story adventures which featuring the same characters. Luckily, the Strand magazine started publishing and his agent, A. P. Watt sold these new stories to the magazine. The “image” of Holmes was created by Sidney Paget a very talented illustrator who took his strikingly handsome brother Walter as a model for the great detective. This collaboration lasted for over forty-years and was instrumental in making the author, the magazine and the artist world famous. The magazine first published A Scandal in Bohemia in 1891 and met with great success. Conan Doyle made the decision to end his medical career and to devote all his time to writing. Although he enjoyed great success with numerous Sherlock Homes stories in the Strand, Conan Doyle continued to feel that he really should be working on longer novels that were more literary. It must have seemed to Conan Doyle that the only way to rid himself of the overly successful Holmes was to kill him off. He did just that in 1893, when he wrote the story The Final Problem. This story had Holmes’s chief nemesis, Professor Morarty, struggling with Holmes at the Reichenbach Falls, Switzerland. In the story, the famous detective fell to his death. The effect that Holmes’s death had on a stunned nation was enormous. Citizens wore black armbands and petitioned both the Strand and Conan Doyle to revive the slain hero. Over 20,000 people cancelled their subscriptions to the Strand Magazine in protest.

Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery: Educator’s Guide


Conan Doyle now felt liberated from both his medical career and from a fictional character that he believed overshadowed what he considered his finer work. In the next eight years, Conan Doyle was a war correspondent in Egypt for the Westminster Gazette during the outbreak in fighting between the British and the Dervishes. He traveled to South Africa as a doctor during the Second Boer War. He wrote several novels, most of them historical, including a pamphlet defending Britain’s role in the Second Boer War, which he believed contributed to his knighting in 1902. He twice stood for parliament and was a great defender of victims of injustice. He helped to create Britain’s Court of Criminal Appeal. After his wife Touie’s death in 1906 and his father’s death soon after, Conan Doyle became more and more fascinated by “life beyond the veil”. He had long been attracted by Spiritualism and joined the Society for Psychical Research. He traveled to the United States and gave lectures on Spiritualism in over 30 American cities. He returned to England and soon married Jean Leckie, a long-time friend with whom he would have three children. Jean also had a strong interest in Spiritualism and considered herself to be a spiritual medium. During this period he wrote a play about Sherlock Holmes. It was not so much to give him new life but to shore-up his bank account. The play was a great success. Then to the delight of thousands of frustrated readers, The Strand magazine published the first episode of The Hound of the Baskervilles in August of 1901. The novel became, and is to this day, a worldwide sensation. In the next years, Conan Doyle continued to bring out successive Sherlock Holmes mysteries, but also wrote several other books, articles, and histories. He once again served as a war correspondent during the First World War, and also formed the local Home Guard. In his later years, he traveled extensively, to Australia, Canada, America and South Africa. He lectured on the topic of Spiritualism and psychic phenomena. He died in 1930 from the effects of a heart attack. In addition to a great wealth of literature produced over his lifetime, Conan Doyle wrote 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories, 4 Sherlock Holmes novels and left 12 unfinished works.

Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery: Educator’s Guide


The Creator of Sherlock Holmes

1. How do you think Arthur Conan Doyle’s education inspired his writing?

2. Why was Conan Doyle knighted?

3. What happened when Conan Doyle killed off the character of Sherlock Holmes? Why?

4. How were Sherlock Holmes stories first published?

5. Who is the narrator of the Sherlock Holmes stories?

6. What is a nemesis?

7. How do you think Conan Doyle’s working life informed his writing?

8. Who was the character of Sherlock Holmes based on?

9. Why do you think that Conan Doyle left so many unfinished manuscripts?

10. Who influenced Conan Doyle’s interest in Spiritualism?

Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery: Educator’s Guide


Definitions 1. A type of poison (_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __) 2. The national detective bureau of Britain, located in London (_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _) 3. To grieve a dead person (_ _ _ _ _) 4. The belief in alternative worlds that may be contacted through a psychic (_ _ _ _ _ _ __) 5. A gathering to contact the dead using a psychic (_ _ _ _ _) 6. A drug derived from the juice of poppies, popular in Victorian times (_ _ _ _ _) 7. A British game played with balls and bats (_ _ _ _ _ _) 8. Holme’s arch-enemy (_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _) 9. A person who is dead (_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _) 10. A Victorian writer and inventor (_ _ _ _ _ _) 11. A single sheet of paper advertising a product or event (_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _) 12. A type of horse-drawn carriage popular in Victorian times (_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _) 13. A message system that relied on the post office to convey paper messages, same day service. Replaced by the telephone system (_ _ _ _ _ _ _ ) 14. A dock (_ _ _ _ _) 15. To approach a problem with a specific criteria of questions and postulations (_ _ _ _ _ _ ) 16. A Romantic poet (_ _ _ _ _ _ _) 17. A buttoned outer garment worn over the shoulders with an additional shorter shoulder layer (_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _) 18. Holme’s faithful friend who is also the narrator of the Sherlock Holmes stores (_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _)

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The Missing Words Analytically Wharf W.B. Yeats Telegram Strychnine Spiritualism SĂŠance Scotland Yard Moriarty Opium Mourn Inverness cape Hansom cab Handbill H. G. Wells Dr. Watson Deceased Cricket

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Sherlock Holmes’s World Wordsearch

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GASLIGHT The history of London’s gas lamps nearly parallels the history of the city itself during the nineteenth century. Ever since first lit in Pall Mall at the start of the century until forced to give away to the electric lamp in the years between 1886 and 1900, the gas lamp ruled the city nights. In “The Dying Detective,” turning up the gas is used as a signal. In “His Last Bow,” this has changed to turning off an electric lamp. Doyle mentions the gas street light only in a few stories like “The Red Circle,” “The Red-Headed League,” and “The Blue Carbuncle” and uses it surprisingly little as a prop.

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There is an illustration in a children’s version of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes that shows Holmes riding in an automobile. An automobile may be bad enough, but one cannot help but shudder at imagining Holmes in something like a jet airplane. With anything but a hansom or a four-wheeler or a landau, the flavour of the Victorian era is lost.

Many dogs appear in the stories of Sherlock Holmes, but few of them are friendly, healthy tail-waggers. The canines in “The Musgrave Ritual,” “The Copper Beeches,” “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” “The Creeping Man,” and “Shoscombe Old Place” are beasts that attack men at will. Watson’s bull pup, which is mentioned in “A Study in Scarlet,” disappeared somewhere when he changed residences. In the same story, a dying terrier is used to test for poison.

One of the charms Sherlock Holmes stories is that hear there the clop-clop of hoofs and the screech of the wheels.

of the one can horses’s carriage

In 1891, the carriage fare from Baker Street Station to Charing Cross Station was 16 pence (£2.50 at today’s prices).

Only Toby in “The Sign of Four” and Pompey in “The Missing Three-Quarter” make themselves useful by helping Holmes track someone. Could it be that Doyle disliked man’s best friend?

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Although the Deer- stalker cap, the Inverness cape, and the calabash pipe have become Holmes’s trademarks, these are nowhere to be found in the original stories. They are all inventions of people other than Doyle. As we can see in an illustration from “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” the headgear that was normally worn on the streets of London was the silk hat. The silk hat first appeared in France around 1780, and fullscale mass production got underway in 1825. Consequently, it is a fairly recent phenomenon. In any case, in Holmes’s age, it was the custom to wear something on the head-a bowler or a sports cap, for example. By that time, the export of hats from Great Britain had reached a value of a million pounds (equivalent to thirty million pounds at today’s prices).

In “The Sign of Four,” Holmes performed chemical experiments with a retort into the wee hours of the morning. In “The Dancing Men,” he brewed a particularly malodorous product in a chemical vessel. Chemical experiments are mentioned in a total of seven cases. Holmes even did research on coal-tar derivatives around 1892. In 1828, German scientists succeeded in synthesizing urea. They also succeeded soon therafter in separating phenol from coal-tar and in synthesizing aniline. Astounded, by German advances in organic chemistry, the English government invited the German chemist Hofmann to England from 1845 to 1863 and established the Royal College of Chemistry in London. The first production of aniline dye by Perkin, one of Hofmann’s students, in 1856 and the chemistry boom in England made Holmes a chemistry buff.

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Holmes, who himself was a devoted pipe smoker, deduced the character of the owner of a certain pipe in “The Yellow Face.” stating that “Nothing has more individuality (than pipes), save perhaps watches and bootlaces.”

The gasogene is an apparatus for making carbonated water. A chemical substance that gives off carbon dioxide is placed in the upper glass bulb, and water is placed in the lower bulb. The carbon dioxide that is produced enters the lower bulb and is dissolved in the water, forming carbonated water. In “A Scandal in Bohemia” and “The Mazarin Stone,” Holmes indicated to Watson where the gasogene was, inviting him to help himself. Of course, there would have been a bottle of whiskey or brandy nearby, and the result a whisky-and-soda. Holmes himself drank a whiskey-and-soda in “The Noble Bachelor” and “The Red-Headed League,” but he seems to have preferred a bottle of Tokay or claret.

Holmes possessed at least three pipes-a clay pipe blackened from use, a briar, and a cherrywood. The clay pipe was probably for his meditative moods, while the cherrywood was for his disputatious moods. A man who divides his pipes for meditative and disputatious purposes must have been quite punctilious, fastidious, and argumentative. The calabash pipe had not yet been imported into England in Holmes’s day.

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There are some people who look upon Holmes with contempt for having been addicted to cocaine. They, however, are probably unfamiliar with the situation existing in Europe at that time.

Holmes always carried around a magnifying lens. This might be only a symbol of the great importance he attached to field work. When he went down into the bank’s basement in “The Red-Headed League” and, with a magnifying lens, examined the cracks between the stones for a few seconds, for example, he probably was not looking for anything in particular. Mycroft, on the other hand , was an arm-chair detective. He stated that to lie on his face with a lens to his eye was not his metier. Holmes mastery lay in the fact that he did not rely solely on field work, but on meditation and intuition as well. The late Victorian era was an age when little respect was shown toward instruments, when Scotland Yard (as told in “Shoscombe Old Place”) had just begun to realize the value of the microscope.

In Holme’s day, cocaine had just been introduced to Europe as a tonic. It had not yet, of course, been declared a narcotic, and its pharmacological effects were not well understood. Sigmund Freud, in 1884, was the first to study the pharmacological properties of cocaine by having his friends ingest it and by taking it regularly himself. In 1890, the extract of the coca plant appeared on the market as a “drug that gets rid of the blues” or “a wine for sportsmen.” Zola, Ibsen, Stevenson, and Joyce all used cocaine regularly.

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Holmes appears to have rather liked travelling by train. We often find him casually dashing off to the station.

Holmes purchased a Stradivarius worth at least five hundred guineas (approximately £20,000 at today’s prices) at a Jewish broker’s in Tottenham Court Road for only fifty-five shillings (about £100 today). A Stradivarius would cost over two hundred thousand pounds today.

How did he while away his time on these trips? In “The Boscombe Valley Mystery,” he took along a litter of newspapers and spent his time rummaging through and reading them, jotting down notes and falling into meditation. It was also during this journey that Holmes read a pocket version of the poems of Petrarch. He again sank himself into a bundle of newspapers in “Silver Blaze,” but also calculated the speed of the train by counting the telegraph posts he saw out the window. In “The Naval Treaty,” Holmes, sunk in profound thought, hardly spoke a word during the entire trip. When a boarding school came into view, however, he suddenly stated his hopes for a better England of the future-a characteristic action.

Holmes honed his sixth sense with his violin and other forms of music. He is mistakenly thought of as a man in whom reason predominated to the detriment of all else. However, reason alone does not make a good detective. A keen intuition is also necessary, and intuition is fed by a sensibility that has been cultivated through contact with nature and beautiful things. Therefore, the violin plays an important role in Homes’s genius.

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