The Boscombe Valley Mystery Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan will help students cite key details from the text to support inferences and tell a story from another viewpoint as they read 'The Boscombe Valley Mystery' by Arthur Conan Doyle. This lesson plan also includes some good discussion questions about the book to get students engaged.

Learning Objective

Upon completion of this lesson on 'The Boscombe Valley Mystery' by Arthur Conan Doyle, students will be able to:

  • Use text evidence to support inferences.
  • Write a narrative from a character's point of view using details from the text.


60 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards


Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.


  • Blunt
  • Cudgel
  • Delirium
  • Dust coat
  • Featureless
  • Feigned
  • Filial
  • Gaunt
  • Hardihood
  • Outré
  • Paradoxical
  • Petrarch
  • Pikestaff
  • Plainer
  • Valise


  • Copies of The Boscombe Valley Mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Chart paper
  • Markers


As a warm up, read The Boscombe Valley Mystery Plot Summary as a class, discussing as you read:

  • What is the genre of the story?
  • Who is the main character?
  • What background knowledge do you have about the character that helps you understand this story?
  • What is happening in the opening scene of this story?
  • How do Sherlock Holmes and Watson learn about the case?
  • What has happened to Charles McCarthy?
  • Why is James McCarthy considered a suspect?
  • What is Sherlock Holmes opinion of James McCarthy?
  • What does James say happened to his father?
  • Why didn't James marry Alice Turner?
  • Who is guilty of the murder of Charles McCarthy?
  • How does Sherlock Holmes handle his evidence in the case?

Ask if there are any questions, then give the students the lesson's printable quiz to assess their understanding of the story. Check the answers as a class.


Inference Chart

Materials: copies of 'The Boscombe Valley Mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle, paper, pens

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