I did a great game today with my students.
I came into the classroom looking a bit concerned and very serious. I told the students that I had just been told something very serious. There had been a robbery in the school last night and several computers were stolen. This raised a few concerned “really?” remarks.
I told them that the police had two suspects, and the worst thing of all was that it was two students in my class! I then names two students in my class (it’s good to pick stronger students who are confident and able to speak infront of their classmates, or the exercise could fall flat on its face). At this point they realise that I’m joking but are happy to play along.
I then take the two suspects to one side of the class room and give them their role cards. It outlines that they didn’t steal the computers, but they are going to have to lie about what they were doing as they were at their friend’s bar until 1am, despite the fact that it should have closed at 11pm. If the police find out about this, their friend will lose his business! The bar is next to the school, and a witness saw them walking back home from that direction, so it looks pretty suspicious.
The suspects’ alibi is that they went to the gym, then to the bar, the to a restaurant, before going home at 1am. Drawing a map is useful, which has the school and bar on one side of the house, and the gym and restaurant on the other.
The police have a role card which states the suspects’ alibis and also the statement from the witness. Point out that it is strange that the suspects were seen walking from the school (bar) evn though they claim to have been at the restaurant.
The police now have to come up with about 25 questions to find out the truth! Remember to ask about detail (what did they eat? see? talk about? how did they pay? what were they wearing? did they meet anyone? etc) They should hold back information, such as the witness statement, until the right moment to try and catch the suspects out.
Meanwhile, the suspects have to work together to get their story straight! If there are more than three differences in their stories, they will both be going to prison! They must not tell the police about their friend’s bar!
Split the police in two groups, and give them one suspect to question, then once they have finished the interview (15-20 mins?), swap the suspects over, but don’t let them talk.
Then get the students to discuss the anomolies, and decide if they are going to send them to jail. Then get the suspects to reveal the truth.
This exercise is really well received, and brings the students out of their shells. It made every laugh and get involved and they said that they really enjoyed it!