Invitation to Murder: Suggestions for exploiting the story in the classroom

Here are some suggestions to exploit the story 'Invitation to Murder'http://sanchezbenedito.blogspot.com.es/2014/12/historias-y-humor-invitation-to-murder.html in the classroom for the students' benefit:


Inspector Caulder and Sergeant Turner discuss the case.


State the motives each of the following characters in the story may have had to murder Lord Thumbleton:

Barton -

Borderlow -

Helen - 

Miss Prescott -

Salford - 


Find synonyms or near-synonyms for the following words and expressions:

a.- to do sb in -

b.- astonished - 

c.- bewildered

d.- cunning

e.- to impersonate

f.- to take one’s own life


Find antonyms for the following words:


b.- to fail

c.- guilty

d.- harmless

e.- irrelevant

f.- needy


Fill in the blanks with an adequate partitive, then translate into Spanish:

1.- a .... of chocolate                            
2.- a .... of soap                                
3.- a .... of furniture                      
4.- a .....of sugar                          
5.- a .... of wind                                
6.- a .... of fog/mist                           
7.- a .... of laughter                           
8.- a .... of toast                                
9.- a .... of salt                      
10.- a ....of good/bad weather            


Re-write the following sentences using unless without changing the meaning:

  a.- Don’t format the hard disk without backing it up first
  b.- You will be taken to court if you don’t pay up
  c.-  The lid will leak if you don’t do it up tightly
  d.- If I can borrow my brother’s motorbike, I’ll be able to get there by 9 o’clock
  e.- Without a change in their attitude, they’ll never be champions
  f.- There will be no Christmas bonus this year if you don’t make greater efforts to sell more

Ways of killing

  Fill in the blanks with the appropriate verb from the lexical field of killing:

     a.- Martin Luther King was ............ in Memphis in 1968
     b.- The jury found him guilty of ........... not murder
     c.- More than 300 people were killed in the battle; it was a real ...........
     d.- The prisoner will be .......... next Monday
     e.- The horse was suffering badly from its wounds, so its owner had to ...... it ......
     f.- The gunman opened fire with a machine gun and ......... at least ten people
     g.- The two gangsters were ........ at the pizza parlor
     h.- The lambs will be taken to the village abattoir to be ...........


Complete the following sentences:

1.- If you want to adopt a child, you have to fill in a lot of forms. There’s a lot of .......tape
          a.- black; b.- red; c.- brown
     2.- I wouldn’t do that for all the tea in ...........
          a.- China; b.- India; c.- Russia
3.- “How do you know that George’s going to be promoted?” “I got it straight from the........mouth”
          a.- bull’s; b.- dog’s; c.- horse’s
     4.- The boss ....... him on the carpet for being late to work
          a.- had; b.- set; c.- laid
5.- You could have knocked me down with a .......... when I heard they were divorcing
     a.- hammer; b.- feather; c.- pin
6.- It’s a high salary for an easy job. It’s money for .........
     a.- biscuit; b.- butter; c.- jam
7.- Now they want me to work overtime without any money compensation. That’s the last ..........
     a.- drop; b.- grain; c.- straw
8.- I’m not saying that thieves should be ill-treated, but I don’t think they should be handled with ......gloves either
     a.- leather; b.- kid; c.- silk
9.- They hadn’t been on speaking terms for years, but then one day they decided to bury the ........... and be friends
     a.- hatchet; b.- gun; c.- knife
10.- The pension she gets from the government is scarcely enough to keep the ....... from the door
     a.- wolf; b.- dogs; c.- rats

Phonetics: Silent 'b'

The 'b' is not pronounced in the words debt and debtor, appearing in the story. What other words do you know with a silent 'b'? 


Role-play : students' own answers, taking the story as a basis

Motives: students' own answers, taking the story as a basis


a.- to kill, to murder
b.- surprised, amazed, astounded
c.- baffled, puzzled, perplexed
d.- clever, astute, crafty
e.- to pass oneself off as
f.- to commit suicide, to kill oneself


a.- uncomfortable
b.- to succeed
c.- not guilty, innocent
d.- harmful
e.- relevant
f.- rich, wealthy, well-off


1.- a bar/square/piece of chocolate – una barrita/tableta/onza/pedazo de chocolate

2.- a bar/cake of soap – una pastilla de jabón

a pìece/an item of furniture – un mueble

4.- a cube/lump of sugar - un terrón de azúcar

5.- a gust/puff of wind – una ráfaga/una racha de viento

6.- a patch of fog/mist – un banco de niebla/neblina

7.- a peal/roar of laughter – una carcajada

8.- a piece of toast – una tostada

9.- a grain/pinch of salt – un grano/una pizca de sal

10.- a spell of good/bad weather – una racha de buen/mal tiempo


Suggested answers: 

a.- Don’t format the hard disk unless you have backed it up first
b.- Unless you pay up, you’ll be taken to court
c.- Unless you do up the lid tightly, it will leak
d.- Unless I can borrow my brother’s motorbike, I won’t be able to get there by 9 o’clock
e.- Unless they change their attitude, they’ll never be champions
f.- Unless you make greater efforts to sell more, there will be no Christmas bonus this year.

Ways of killing
a.- assassinated; b.- manslaughter; c.- massacre; d.- executed; e.- finish off; f.- mowed down; g.- bumped off/knocked off/ done in; h.- slaughtered/butchered


1-b; 2-a; 3-c; 4-a; 5-b; 6-c; 7-c; 8-b; 9-a; 10-a

Phonetics: Silent 'b'

- The 'b' is silent in words ending in mb and derived: bomb (bomba), bomber (bombardero), to climb (escalar), climber (escalador), comb (peine), crumb (migaja), dumb (mudo), lamb (cordero), limb (miembro, extremidad), plumb (plomada), plumber (fontanero), thumb pulgar), tomb (tumba), etc.

- the 'b' is also silent before 't' in words like: debt (deuda), debtor (deudor), doubt (duda), doubtful (dudoso), doubtless (indudable), undoubtedly (indudablemente), subtle (sutil), subtlety (sutileza), etc. 

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