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Detective Fiction for Remedial Readers, by Ruth M. Wilson


Guide Entry to 89.04.10:

This Detective Fiction Unit will introduce remedial students to the writings of Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes). The unit is divided into two parts. Part One deals with the life and tribulations of both authors. The unit begins with condensed biographies of each: Poe’s unhappy childhood, indebtedness, mental illness, and his dependency on alcohol. Doyle’s early education, medical practice and bits of information not usually known about his life. Also, during the course of presenting this unit, Sir Arthur’s problem with cocaine will be mentioned for discussion purposes.

Part two invites the students to read some of the works of these famous authors. Among the selections the class will read: “Three Sundays in a Week,” “The Black Cat,” “The Mask of the Red Death” (Edgar Allan Poe), “The Speckled Band,” “The Adventure of the Final Problem,” and “The Return of Sherlock Holmes” (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle).

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 taught during the course of the unit. The materials developed for the unit consist of teacher made work sheets: Word Order, Word Match, Word Scramble, Literal, Inferential, Analytical Comprehension Questions. These work sheets are to be found in the appendix of unit. Books to be used for this unit can be found in the school library.

(Recommended for Remedial Reading classes, grade 8)

Key Words

Adolescence American Literature Drug Abuse Mystery Thriller Detective Fiction Literature American Poe Edgar Allan Reading Instruction Critical Thinking Special Education

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