Sherlock Holmes Webquest: Students Learn About the Legendary Detective and Create a Game

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A Legendary Detective

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes in 1886 in the story, “A Study In Scarlet.” Sherlock Holmes has gone on to become one of the most famous detectives in literary history. His powers of observation and deduction are legendary and the inspiration for many television and movie detectives. Students will use this Sherlock Holmes webquest to study the characters in the original Sherlock Holmes stories, how they interacted and the methods used to solve the mysteries.

Setting the Task

Students will work together in pairs or small groups to design a new game. They will need to be familiar with the characters, setting and methods used in the various stories to create a game with a Sherlock Holmes theme. It could be a board game, card game or even an interactive role-playing game. Each game should allow the players to solve a mystery using clues provided during the course of the game. The game should be complex enough to be played several times and have a different solution each time.

The Process

Students will divide into pairs or small groups and work together to design and build a board game with a Sherlock Holmes theme. The game should not simply reproduce one of the stories, but use the forensic methods and powers of observation Sherlock made famous to solve a new mystery. If students are not familiar with many board games they may want to check online for a list of games that may inspire them. Students should review the history, methods, and the villains used in the Sherlock Holmes stories to help build a basic knowledge. These are some sites they may find helpful:

Students will make a prototype of their game and present it with the rules to the class. After the presentations groups will switch games and play at least one round.


Students will be evaluated on a 5-point scale that can be converted to letter grades if necessary.

1 – Game is not playable. Rules are not clear. Theme does not reflect Sherlock Holmes

2 – Game is playable with some difficulty. Theme reflects Sherlock Holmes, but does not demonstrate a complete understanding of his methods.

3 – Game is playable, but only once. Rules are complete. Theme reflects Sherlock Holmes and shows an understanding of his methods.

4 – Game is playable more than once without repeating the same result. Rules are complete. Theme reflects Sherlock Holmes and shows a complete understanding of his methods.

5 – Game is playable multiple times without repeating the same result. Rules are clear and complete. Theme reflects Sherlock Holmes time and shows a complete understanding of his methods. Additional characters are utilized.


This Sherlock Holmes webquest will help students learn more about the character and his methods. Inventing a game will allow students a creative way to demonstrate their understanding of the methods Sherlock used in both forensics and observation. Results may spill over to help students sharpen their own powers of perception.