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Secret Societies and Conspiracy Theories

Lesson 1: The Problem of Cell 13

Task 1 - 1hr 30:

Listen to the 'The Problem of Cell 13' by Jacques Futrelle here.

Read along here. 

As you listen to the story, make notes about the plot:

  • Who are the characters?
  • What happens?

You could also use simple images to record key events, as done in the video. 

Task 2 - 30 mins:

Draw Van Dusen based on description at the beginning if the story. Label it using quotations from the text.

Worksheet here.

Task 3 - 1-2hr:

(a) Summarise each section/paragraph of the story (If you opt for paragraphs this will take a while!). Be as brief as you can and summarise the absolute most important information we learn from each section.

(b) Now, reduce your summary so that you have a 15 sentence summary of the story.

(c) Now reduce it to 5 sentences.

(d) Now, reduce it to 10 words. 

Worksheet here.

Lesson 2: Understanding whodunnits

What are the features of a Whodunnit?

What features of language have been used to make this text engaging? (It’s not enough just for the story to be interesting)

Lesson 3: The Murders in the Rue Morgue

Similarities and differences

Lesson 4: Room 101

Which do you prefer and why? Persuade me - room 101

Lesson 5: Designing a character

Creating a character worksheet here.

Getting to know your character worksheet here.

Testing out your character worksheet here.

Lesson 6: Researching your topic


Lesson 7: Planning a whodunnit
Lesson 8: Writing an engaging opening
Lesson 9: Completing a first draft
Lesson 10: Proofreading and editing