Interactive Virtual Field Trip to the Sherlock Holmes Exhibition in London

Would you like to take your class on a field trip to London? What about a virtual trip to the Museum of London to see the Sherlock Holmes ‘The Man Who Never Lived and Will Never Die’ Exhibition? The combination of Sherlock Holmes and a trip to London will appeal to your students and you can easily inspire them to do some research projects  and read some stories out of the classroom. Follow our lesson steps and use our resources for an adventurous lesson, and improve your students language and detective skills at the same time.


  • Internet connection
  • Projector or interactive whiteboard
  • Computer
  • Sherlock Holmes readers (optional)

Age and language level

  • Age: 14+
  • Elementary – Pre-intermediate, CEF A1, A2, B1


1 How well do you know Sherlock Holmes? 

  • What do you know about Sherlock Holmes? What do you think of when you hear the name ‘Sherlock Holmes’?
  • Write down five words to describe him.

2 Now look at this image of Sherlock Holmes.

  • Describe his clothes and his physical appearance.
Illustration and extract from The Read-headed League by Arthur Conan Doyle. Level 2 Reader, adapted by Maria Cleary, illustrated by Giulia Sagramola ©Helbling Languages

Illustration and extract from The Red-headed League by Arthur Conan Doyle. Level 2 Reader, adapted by Maria Cleary, illustrated by Giulia Sagramola ©Helbling

3 The Museum of London 

  • How well do you know London? Go on Google Maps or any map you like, and look for all the museums in London. How many can you find?
  • Now look for the Museum of London on the map. Where is it located?
  • Go on to the Transport for London (TFL) website and imagine that you are travelling to the Museum of London from a well-known location, let’s say Trafalgar Square or Charing Cross.
    • How can you get there?
    • How long does it take?
    • How long does it take to walk there?
  • What is the address of the museum?
  • Go on Google Street View and see what the museum looks like.

4 The Sherlock Holes Exhibition

Vocabulary Game

  • As you are watching the video, memorize the names of as many things as possible even if you do not know the words in English.
  • You can form groups in class and see which one remembers the most words.
  • Which things would a modern detective or police officer own?
  • Which things belong to Sherlock Holmes?
  • What does a ‘forensic scientist’ do?

5 Forensic Science?

  • On the Exhibition website you will find a Museum Blog, with a post explaining how Sherlock Holmes helped forensic science.
  • Do you know any famous TV series about modern detectives? How are they similar to or different from Sherlock Holmes?
  • Do some research to find out more about forensic science and modern detective strategies.

Teaching tip: Read the article ‘5 remarkable ways Sherlock galvanised CSI and forensic science’, and summarize it for your students, even in their own language.

6 The Art of Victorian London

  • If you are more interested in art and architecture, you can visit the Museum of Londons’s page, ‘The Art of Sherlock Holmes’
  • Watch the 3-minute video. What kind of paintings and photographs can you see?
  • Describe the city through the images.
  • Listen carefully to the video presenters, and note down any words or phrases you understand. For example ‘thick fog’ is a phrase they use to describe the city.
  • Is there a painting you really like?
  • Find images of Victorian London on the Internet.

7  Read and talk

The Red-headed League by Arthur Conan Doyle

When legendary detective Sherlock Holmes and his trusted friend, Dr Watson, are asked to investigate a mysterious organisation, the Red-headed League, they find that there is more to the organisation than meets the eye.

8 When you have read the stories, do our quiz about the characters.

9 Detective Thinking Skills

  • Improve your problem solving and critical thinking skills by doing puzzles.
  • Here are some lateral thinking puzzles that will help you improve your detective skills!
Sample pages from Thinking in the EFL Class by Tessa Woodward. ©Helbling Languages

Sample pages from Thinking in the EFL Class by Tessa Woodward. ©Helbling Languages

Thinking in the EFL Class by Tessa Woodward. ©Helbling Languages

Sample pages from Thinking in the EFL Class by Tessa Woodward. ©Helbling

For more FREE downloadable handouts to practise thinking skills, please click on the link to visit the Helbling Languages website.

10 A game for advanced learners and for the teachers

  • There is an exciting game on the website of the Museum. Follow this link to play the game ‘The Two Pipe Problem’ and solve a crime online.

More for teachers

Would you like to read more about detective stories? Here is another article on our Blog with resources and links to interesting articles plus an interview Richard MacAndrew, the author of original detective stories.

Would you like to read more detective stories? Browse our collection classic and original titles for elementary and pre-intermediate level students.

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