Shannon Carlisle's 4th Grade Accelerated Learning Language Arts Class
near Nashville, TN

Presents Dr. Alvarez's play: THE RED-HEADED LEAGUE

A Visit to Shannon Carlisle’s Fourth Grade Class
(An Article by Dr. Marino Alvarez, Nashville Scholar)


Vicki and I were invited to Mrs. Shannon Carlisle’s fourth grade class to view the play, “The Red-Headed League” which I wrote and posted on the Beacon Society website. The students gave an excellent performance using costumes, props, and three-part scenery (221B, Pawnshop, and Bank Cellar).


Two separate groups of students performed the play splendidly. Each group had a director and the characters gave wonderful renditions of the time and place. During preparations of reading the stories in the canon, Francine Kitts donated many artifacts that Mrs. Carlisle
gave to the students for their accomplishments.

After the play, the students asked us questions and described each of the items that they choose. Two students mentioned key chains that they have attached onto their backpacks. Another spoke of a flag that is hanging in her room at home. Others also described their objects. Mrs. Carlisle kept some of these and is developing a Sherlock Holmes Museum that will be on display for next year’s class. Of course, the collection will be further endowed with more memorabilia as they become available.

The Play's the Thing at Mrs. Carlisle's 4th Grade Class
The curtain to the right, designed by the students,
is the shop window for The Red-Headed League set.




Three boys did a special research project on the manufacturer and type of “safe” mentioned in “The Six Napoleons.” This question arose at one of our Nashville Scholars meetings and Mrs. Carlisle presented the problem to her class. These three students emailed persons and organizations in the United States and England. Roger Johnson was one person who responded to these students. The boys presented their findings and a comprehensive notebook of the electronic communications, resources, and notes. (In photo: John - Conor - David)

One of the boys expressed a long-time interest in the stories and is very much fascinated with Sherlock Holmes. I invited him to come to our Nashville Scholars of the Three Pipe Problem meeting. Mrs. Carlisle told me that he said to her, “Oh my gosh!” So we look forward to Conor’s attendance.



At the conclusion of the performance, interview, and student display, I presented Mrs. Carlisle a Certificate of Meritorious Achievement that expressed acclamation on behalf of the Nashville Scholars of the Three Pipe Problem.

Mrs. Carlisle, Beacon Society Teacher of the Year Award Winner, is demonstrating that the Sherlock Holmes stories and the world of 1895 is a viable teaching and learning literacy asset for students.

(Photo: Shannon Carlisle reporting to the Nashville Scholars on her students' good work in the "footsteps of Sherlock Holmes.")

Shannon and her students (David, Conor, and John) were given a special recognition by Franklin Special School Distirct Communications Specialist Susannah Gentry during the September school board meeting.hat Susannah had to say about the students.
(added 09/28/2013 by webmaster)


David , Conor , and John (last names withheld by webmaster): These three young men are being recognized tonight for extending their learning by taking on a research project and upon determining the results, have seen their work published online by various media outlets. This project actually began last spring in Shannon Carlisle’s fourth-grade classroom at Moore Elementary. As she does every year, Mrs. Carlisle introduced her class to the world of her favorite author, Sir Conan Arthur Doyle, and his chief investigator, Sherlock Holmes. Mrs. Carlisle, a member of the Sherlockian scion The Nashville Scholars of the Three-Pipe Problem, presented the class with a research topic that her group had discussed at its meeting regarding the ownership and fate of a safe mentioned at the end of Doyle’s short story, The Adventure of the Six Napoleons.

For two months, David, Conor, and John met with Mrs. Carlisle every other day during their lunch break to develop and answer research questions. Most of their research about Victorian England and popular safes of the late 1800's was conducted online and through email with experts in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. In the end, the students concluded that the safe was an 1882 Chubbs #33 and it belonged to Dr. Watson.

This past summer, their research was published electronically to over 840 Sherlockians. In fact, The Sherlockian E-Times published an extra edition of their electronic newsletter – something that has only been done four times in 20 years - just to share this research with their 600 readers across four continents. Additionally, the boys were recently contacted by the editors of The Serpentine Muse, a highly regarded publication by a New York based Sherlockian society called the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes, to request permission to publish the research in their prestigious quarterly. The research has also been featured on, and in a June edition of Scuttlebits and Bytes electronic newsletter of the Sherlock Holmes Society of St. Charles.


Our experience was memorable and the students were great!!! (Dr Marino Alvarez)


Back to Safe Investigation Story | Back to Adventures | Home Page



Nashville Scholars of the Three Pipe Problem | Nashville, TN | ©2015
Contact Webmaster | | EMAIL