Tag: comic

Graded Reader Comic – Sherlock Holmes The Final Curtain
Graded Reader Comic – Sherlock Holmes The Final Curtain

Graded readers are believed to be extremely useful for learners of English. Many research reports show that learners improve substantially if they read a lot of simplified books. In this post, I would like to share a Graded Reader Comic. It is a Sherlock Holmes story called The Final Curtain. The comic is just six pages long and is suitable for elementary and pre-intermediate learners of English.


Sherlock Holmes – The Final Curtain – Graded Reader

I found the following comic in Digital Comic Museum. All the comics published there are in public domain and anyone can download and use them.

I took the original comic, improved the quality of the pictures and simplified the dialogues. You can download and print the graded reader here:

If you prefer video, you can watch the video of the comic here. There is no sound but you can ask your students to read the bubbles aloud.

Graded Readers – research

There are many pieces of research that show that graded readers are very useful for learners of English. To be honest, my personal experience does not support these claims. Recently, I provided my 10-year-old students with two graded readers per week. It was a group of 18 students and it was voluntary to read the books. We went on like this for ten weeks and surprisingly half of the students read all the books provided.

At the end of the period, I gave the students the Level Vocabulary Test by Paul Nation and then my colleague gave the same test to another group of 10-year-olds who study the same textbook. My group knew 10% more words than the control group, but the other group scored better in a grammar test. So, I am not convinced that graded readers are the best thing. But as they do not harm my students, I will keep on using them.

If you are interested in more research on graded readers, you can find it here.

Sherlock Holmes – Diamond Secret
Sherlock Holmes – Diamond Secret

Some posts are easy to write and some take a lot of time to create. This one is the latter case. It took me three months to draw and rewrite the Sherlock Holmes story for pre-intermediate students.

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In this post, I would like to share with you a graded comic called Sherlock Holmes – Diamond Secret. The original comic is published by digitalcomicmuseum.com under CC0 license. I took the original story and copied only the outlines and I simplified the dialogues. You can read the resulting story here.

Sherlock Holmes – vocabulary

Before you read the story, it is a good idea to learn the vocabulary from this story. To make the learning enjoyable, I have created the following crossword.

Sherlock Holmes – crossword

The correct answers are here:


1. Secret
2. Anchor
3. Smuggler
4. customs
5. expect
6. diamond
7. wonder
8. button

Sherlock Holmes – video

You can read the comic in the following video. The video goes at the speed of 100 words per minute. As the video is at Youtube, you can try to speed it up in the Settings.

I made the comic black and white to make it simple to print. I know it does not look as well as in colour, but it is much cheaper to print enough copies for the whole class.

You can download the pdf file here:
[sociallocker] Sherlock Holmes – pdf file [/sociallocker]

A few words on reading

The text above can be used in two ways. It can be used for practising the speed reading or it can be used for extensive reading.

By working on speed reading, your students will improve their speed of reading and they will improve their comprehension. I play the video first in the speed it is, then I increase the speed to 150% and I ask the students to read the story again and I play it at 200% speed.

Extensive reading is a perfect means of refreshing vocabulary knowledge and creating collocations in oneĀ“s mind.