«Література Великої Британії та США». Детекти Агати Крісті

Topic: Detectives of Agatha Christie

Objectives: to get Ss more aware of Agatha Christie and her books;             to practise   correcting facts politely; to train Ss to express their point of view and to predict things/events; to develop Ss’ reading , speaking and listening skills

Materials : the portrait of Agatha Christie, film ” Murder on the Orient Express”, collage of  the headlines of American newspapers ( from the film), HO1 extract from ” Murder on the Orient Express”

On the BB: the portrait and the collage


Warming up

  1. Today we are going to dedicate our lesson to Agatha Christie and her detectives. Many people say that detective stories fire your imagination. Let’s try to fire our imagination and create our detective story. Imagine that our blackboard is a big screen. I open it and see a black car approaching a detached house. A middle-aged man who looks like a detective is getting out of the car. /to students/What can you see?

S1 A man wearing a mask is running round the corner.

S2 He is carrying a big heavy bag.

S3 A policeman with a gun following him. S4, S5, and so on.


  1. Well done. You were very active creating our common detective story., but do you like to read detective stories? I asked S. to conduct a survey and find out how many students in your class enjoy detective stories. Will you tell us what your survey says.
  2. There are 18 students in our class , 12 of them enjoy reading and watching detectives and 6

 don’t like them.

  1. Now I’d like you to split into two groups for debating. Those who are against reading detectives are to take seats in this row. The outnumbering group will start. Why do you like detectives.?

S1.First of all, I would like to say that detectives written by great masters are really gripping. You can never guess who has done it. You can’t  tear yourself from the book.

S2.I differ from you entirely.  Detective literature is trash. it’s not serious. They are not books which you remember for the whole life. They  don’t stir your emotions.

S3. Don’t they? But they fire your imagination. Your try to predict who the murderer is and you start analyzing and comparing facts, actions of people and events.

S4. In my opinion they are harmful for people as they are all connected with violence. Almost all of them tell about some murder. Our  life is full of violence without such books.

S5. Moreover,  some criminals use these books as resource to organize a new crime. They learn from these books how to escape punishment.

S6. Just the other way round. I’ve read that in Egyptian police school  they use detectives as textbooks to train good policemen.

S7.One more thing I just want to point out.  In such books detectives appear to be the only intelligent characters. They are the cleverest and all the people around them seem to be rather stupid. Don’t you agree?

  1. Not at all. The characters of detectives are rather convincing. They help people to fight injustice and evil./ these are only few arguments of students./
  2. Well, I guess that arguments of both groups are rather convincing. Really, on the one hand, modern society is fed up with violence in everyday life . That’s why detective films and books are rejected by some people.

  On the other hand , those brilliantly described mysteries are like puzzles. They are so gripping, they make you suppose, analyze, conclude, deduct, and what not. When you start reading them you can’t tear yourself till you know who has done it. Some writers such as Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie are real masters.

Revision of some material discussed at the previous lesson.

  1. At the previous lesson we spoke about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his books. What facts do you remember which prove the great popularity of this author?

S1. When Conan Doyle became bored with his hero Holmes, and tried to kill him off in a story called “The Final Problem” the readers protested. After the publication of the book they organized a protest march with slogans ” Conan Doyle Is a Murderer!” Even Queen Victiria wrote a letter asking the author to bring Sherlock Holmes back to life. So the writer did that in ” The Hound of the Baskervilles”.

S2. Many people considered Sherlock Holmes a real person who lived at 221b Baker Street in London. Even now some readers write letters to this address asking for help. There is a secretary there to answer their letters.

Checking up the home assignment

  1. At home you had to find some information about Agatha Christie, known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime, while she preferred to call herself the Duchess of Death. Let’s check what main facts from A. Christie’s life you know. I hope you remember how to correct facts politely. Group1 will have to make incorrect statements about A. Christie. Group2 is to correct the facts politely.


  1. Correcting facts politely

S1  The writer’s born name is Christie.

S2.Christie? Her born name is Miller, isn’t it?

S3 She was the only child in her family.

S4 The only? She was the third child  of Clarissa and Frederick Miller, wasn’t she?

S5 She was educated at a public school.

S6 Public school? She was educated at home, didn’t she?

S7 Her first novel was published during World War1.

S8 World War 1? Her first novel ” The mysterious Affairs at Style” was published in 1920, wasn’t it?

Ss can make many other statements/

  1. Speaking

Two students speak about Agatha Christie/

Dame Agatha Christie

    Agatha Christie known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime was born in Torquay, Devonshire in 1890. Her father was called Fredrick Miller so she was born as Agatha Miller. She was brought up in an upper-middle class family on the English seashore. The girl was educated at home, which was customary for the young women of that time. She nevertheless demonstrated that she had a brilliant mind, excelling in mathematics, logic, and music. Later she took singing lessons in Paris.

    At the age of 24 she married Archie Christie  and took his name.12 years later , she had to go through a bitter divorce, when her husband decided to marry their mutual friend,  Nancy  Neele. When World War I had broken out, Agatha worked in a hospital at that time and that experience  was useful later on. At the end of the war she began writing. Her first book was published in 1920, “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” it was based partly on Agatha Christie’s own nursing experience. There, readers met Hercule Poirot, the little Belgian detective with egg-shaped head, funny-looking moustache and the passion for order.He became the most popular sleuth in fiction since Sherlock Holmes. Hercule Poirot appeared in about 25 novels and many short stories before returning to Styles, where  in ” Curtains” he died.

   General recognition came to Agatha Christie with the publication of her sixth book, ” The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” in 1926. With ” The Murder at Vicarage”.Agahta Christie began a series of novels featuring Miss Marple, a lady detective who won a universal love for her wise methods of investigating a crime. During her life she created 75 crime novels.

    In 1952 A. Christie enjoyed another run of success with theatre adaptations of her fiction and 20 plays.Among them ” A Mousetrap” set a world record for the longest continuous run at one theatre. Many of her novels and stories have been filmed including ” The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” ( cinema title ” Alibi” ), ” Ten Little Niggers”, ” Murder on the Nile”, ” Murder on the Orient Express” are the most famous of them.

    Agatha Christie also wrote six novels of romance under the pen name Mary Westmacott.  Her books were translated into 104 languages. Her autobiography was published after her death.


Role – play ” Meeting with A. Christie”

  1. As you’ve heard A. Christie is the most famous woman writer. But  despite all of this fame the public’s knowledge of A. Christie is rather limited, because she said little in public and

avoided public appearances. So you can imagine  how lucky we were when Dame Agatha Christie had accepted our invitation to visit our town. Meet our honourable guest who has come to take part in the meeting of A. Christie’s fan club. Welcome to School Number 8.

   / One of the students plays the part of A. Christie, the others are her fans/

  1. Let me introduce myself. I’m …., a member of your fan club. Your novels are very popular with the readers of this country.
  2. C. Glad to meet you all. Do people in Ukraine read my books in English?
  3. Some of them do. But most of our readers have good translations of your novels at their disposal.
  4. C. I’m pleased tohear that.

S2. Would you mind my asking you a few questions? I’d like to prepare an interesting report about some unknown facts from your life.

  1. C. I don’t mind. What  would you like to know?

S2. I’d like to learn more about your childhood. Was it quiet or adventurous? Were you an obedient child?

  1. C. Well, I don’t think so. I often tried to do something unusual to amaze my family and friends. Once I went on a mule trip with my sister without permission. At the age of six I climbed out the 4thfloor window of a hotel and walked riskly on the roof to show that I was bold.

S3. As a girl you dreamed to become an opera singer. You even went to Paris to take singing lessons. Why didn’t that dream come true?

A.C. It appeared that my voice was  not strong enough for an opera singer. Besides, I was to shy and my teachers didn’t believe that I would be able to overcome my shyness.

S4. So, you had to give up your dream and decided to become a crime writer, didn’t you?

A.C. Not at all. I wrote my first novel after I had bet my elder sister that I could do that very well.

S5. You don’t say so! I wonder if you hadn’t become a writer what you would have become.

A.C. Perhaps a doctor, as I studied at a Medical College or a gardener. I’m fond of growing flowers and always take part in the flower exhibitions in Devonshire.

S6. Where do you usually find subjects for your new novels?

A.C.  I usually think of them while I’m washing up. I hate washing the dishes.

S7. Is any of your novels autobiographical?

A.C. No, I have been writing my autobiography since February.

S8. I hope we’ll be able to read it soon. Thank you very much. Good luck and success.

  1. I’m very grateful to you for visiting our school and forthis meeting.


Watching an episode from the film ” Murder on the Orient Express”

  1. T. Agatha Christie created her famous detective Hercule Poirot, a former Belgian detective. He has appeared in many films. No doubt, “Murder on the Orient Express” is one of the best films with this character. It received the Academy Award in 1974. That’s why I’ve chosen an episode from this film for you to watch.


Pre-watching task

  1. The film starts with the collage of American newspapers published in 1930. Here we have the same collage on the blackboard.
  2. Read the headlines and answer the following questions.
  3. What do the headlines tell us about?
  4. Who was kidnapped?
  5. Who was suspected?
  6. Did Daisy’s parents pay ransom?

5.What happened to the girl?


Daily Mirror                                                                       Police Gazette

Baby Kidnap  Horror                               Could they have done it without

Daisy where are you?                                                           Inside help?

Held the Armstrong nurse.


Daily News                                                                               New York Journal

     1930                                                                                                1930

Armstrong Baby Kidnapped                              Baby Taken in Dead of Night

Crushed Toys  Crushed Hopes                                         Staff wakened but helpless


     New York Times                                                                             Herald Tribune

    1930                                                                                                                  1930

Armstrong Pays Ransom!                                                 Daisy Found Dead

Payment Left Hope

  1. /Ss read the headlinesand answer the questions. Then the teacher adds some information/ Colonel Armstrong was an Englishman. Sonia Armstrong , his wife, was a daughter of a famous American actress. The child’s dead body was discovered. Following the shock of this discovery Sonia Armstrong died. Her brokenhearted husband shot himself. A young French woman, who was a maiden, was accused of helping the kidnapper. As she was innocent she also committed suicide. Police arrested the kidnapper. His name was Cassetti. But the kidnapper escaped the electric chair with the help of his friends. He disappeared from America. All the above mentioned events took place in the USA in 1930. Five years later ” The Orienr Express” left Turkey for France one frosty morning. M. Hercule Poirot was travelling in the pullman coach of the Express.
  2. Predicting

T.Do you think the events which took place on the Orient Express were connected  with Armstrong  case. In what way?

Watching the episode / 35. 08 min. – 39. 14 min. /

When the face of Hercule Poirot is well seen on the screen press the pause button.

  1. Here you can see A. Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot. What does he look like. Try to compare him to Sherlock Holmes.


  1. Sherlock Holmes was a tall thin man with a long nose and sharp eyes. His face was oval while Hercule Poirot has an egg-shaped head as we see. His face is not thin at all. He is a funny little man. The most attractive and unusual feature of his appearance is his moustache. His dark eyes seem to be very sharp and intelligent.

Ss continue watching the episode

After – watching task

  1. After watching the episode the students have to answer the questions which are on the blackboard.
  2. Why was the train delayed?
  3. What happened to Mr. Ratchet?
  4. What does the doctor suspect?
  5. How many stabs did the doctor discover on the body?
  6. When did the death occur?
  7. Does Poirot agree to investigate the case?
  8. Predicting

1.Do you feel confident that Poirot can solve the mystery? Why?

  1. Do you suspect anybody? Why?
  2. What steps will Poirot take first?



  1. T. Now we are going to read an extract from the book ” Murder on the Orient Express” about the passengers of the pullman coach. Perhaps it will help you to find out who’s done it. While reading you will find that the last part of each paragraph is missing. Below the text there are endings which are lettered.

Task1.Read the text and find the proper ending to each paragraph.

Keys: 1b, 2e, 3g, 4a, 5d, 6c, 7f.

Task2. Read the text again and say whether you’ve noticed any clues.

             Do you suspect any of the passengers? Give your reasons.

/ The teacher may help students giving clues or invite them to watch the whole film after the lessons /

Self assessment. Summing up.

Home assignment: Read the text and solve the mystery.