Adventures on a train – ‘Murder’ on The Orient Express

November 16, 2020

This week’s theme:

Adventures on a train – ‘Murder’ on The Orient Express

This week’s colouring in sheet:

Download and print this week’s colouring sheet here.

 

Activities for the week…

 

Fact of the week: Hercule Poirot solved his most famous case on it, Alfred Hitchock’s lady vanished from it and James Bond rode it from Istanbul to London. The Orient Express is full of mystery.

 

Activity 1:

Agatha Christie’s book ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ was first published in January 1934, and features her popular character, the detective Hercule Poirot. Poirot was known for his moustache. Dress yourself up as a detective – draw a waxed moustache to wear! Make some detective props – draw magnifying glasses to hunt for fingerprints.

What’s your Detective name – try out this name generator.

 

Activity 2:

Dress up as suspicious Cluedo style characters/suspect using the props and costume bits found at home.

What will your character be called/what will they do for a living? How will they act – what characteristics do you need to make sure you’re not detected? Do you need to be jumpy and suspicious looking, eager to talk and give away clues and secrets? Or will you be cool, calm, collected and a bit aloof or defensive, perhaps tells fibs to cover their back/conceal their real identity, or in cahoots with other suspects?

For inspiration, in Cluedo the characters are: Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, Professor Plum, Miss Scarlet, and Colonel Mustard.

In ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ the suspects are: M. Bouc (police officer), Dr. Constantine (Doctor), Mary Debenham (governess), Mrs. Hubbard (famous actress), Colonel Arbuthnot (Colonel), Princess Dragomiroff (a Russian princess), Hector McQueen (secretary), Countess Andrenyi (Countess), Count Andrenyi (Count), Cyrus Hardman (American detective), Antonio Foscanelli (Italian chauffer), Greta Ohlsson (Swedish nurse), Hildegarde Schmidt (the Princesses maid), Edward Henry Masterman (personal attendant), Pierre Michel (servant).

 

Activity 3:

Use a mystery plot generator to come up with a mysterious story plot.

Or, come up with a title for a mystery story (some ideas: ‘The adventure of…’ ‘The disappearance of…’ ‘The strange tale of…’ ‘The case of…’ ‘A Full Account of…’ ‘A scandal in…’ ‘The man with the…’, also useful are the adjectives ‘curious’ and ‘remarkable’). you could use a detective book name generator and base your story around that.

Or, simply come up with your mystery story of your very own.

Act out your story, you could play all of the parts.

 

Activity 4:

There has been a long-running television show following the detective work of Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Here is the theme tune – can you come up with some detective themed dance moves to go with it? Here are some ideas: tip-toeing around so no one can hear you, looking at objects through a magnifying glass for clues, writing in a notebook, having an ‘aha!’ moment…

 

Activity 5:

Draw the suspect from this description given to Poirot at the scene:

A person taller than a table but smaller than a door. With a beard that isn’t white. With a scar on their face in the shape of a country. Wearing unusual clothes. Hair concealed under a hat.

Sometimes descriptions given to detectives are vague, meaning we can all have our own unique interpretations of what something looks like. What details would have been important for you to know when drawing your picture so that it could have been more accurate? How would you better describe the person you’ve drawn to detectives?

 

Activity 6:

Someone had given the police a report of a suspicious incident. The report was written on different cards from start to finish but a clumsy inspector dropped them and jumbled them up. What order did the events happen in? Can you also come up with actions for each part of the story?

1: I gave a description of the person I had seen running away.

2: I ran to where I heard the noise coming from and saw a cloaked person dashing away down the train carriage

3: The suspect was caught in the buffet carriage, pockets stuffed with jewels.

4: I found a woman crying, her jewels had been stolen.

5: Poirot investigated the theft.

6: I heard a scream.

 

Activity 7:

You need to get a message to Poirot with clues about the incident, but you don’t want anybody to know you’re sharing information in case it gets into the wrong hands.

Come up for some code words for objects to confuse the enemy. Is a cup now called a sip-ser, a book a paper-flutterer, etc.

Try communicating without speaking using your body language and facial expressions. Can you tell someone how you feel without speaking?

Learn some signs or Makaton that the enemy might not be able to understand.

Try drawing pictures to represent what you want to say.

 

Activity 8:

In the story, the train is forced to stop due to heavy snowfall – this actually happened to the real Orient Express, in 1929, when the train had to stop for 6 days! Imagine you were stuck on the Orient Express for 6 days, what would you do? Write or draw a diary for each day.

 

Activity 9:

Agatha Christie wrote her first book because her sister dared her to! So, we dare you to do something new this week – learn a train fact, research and draw a train, make a comic book, a poem, a play, a song, a written story… try something new!

 

(Answer for Activity 6: The order is 6, 2, 4, 1, 5, 3.)

  

Why not take a photo of any of the activities you’ve tried this week and share it with us? You can share it on our FacebookInstagram or Twitter or send it to melanie@purplepatcharts.org and we’ll put it online for you!