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A Game to Practice Simple Past& Past Continuous
Intermediate level


In this lesson students will do speaking practice using past simple and past continuous tenses with a game based on finding the suspects of a crime.


Abc Two Suspect role cards and two Police Officer role cards Related to the Game called Alibi

Main Aims

  • To provide accuracy and fluency in speaking using simple past and past continuous tenses

Subsidiary Aims

  • To improve the students' speaking and listening skills


Warmer/Lead-in (5-10 minutes) • To warm and inform the students about the game Alibi

Ask the students about the meaning of Alibi. Explain the meaning. Tell the students there was a robbery in the course at 7 pm last night and three laptops got stolen. The suspects are in this class. Tell the students the aim and the rules of the game. Choose four strong students to be the suspects. They will create a story with a lot of details about last night. Give them their role cards to think about some answers. The answers of each person in the should be the same during the questionnaire. Ask them to leave the class. Divide the rest of the class into two groups and ask them to prepare some questions to the suspects. Give them their role cards. Tell them the questions should be detailed.

Stage 2: Students getting ready for the investigation (5-10 minutes) • Students learn to create stories and ask questions in past tenses

The suspects leave the class and create their stories. Meanwhile the police officers who are the rest of the class are divided into two groups and think about questions to ask to the suspects. The police officers will try to find discrepancies in their answers.

Stage 3: The Game (20-25 minutes) • To play the game effectively

Call one of the suspects inside the class. Ask him/her to sit in the middle of the class so that everybody can see and hear him/her. Ask the students in the first group to ask some questions about what she/he did last night. The questions should be as detailed as possible. Give them 5 minutes to finish their investigation. Ask the students to make notes of the answers. When the investigation is over, ask the first suspect to sit at the back of the class so he/she cannot intervene when his/her pair is called into the class. Ask the other suspect to come into the class and tell the police officers of the second group to ask some questions. The questions should be the same in order to find any differences between the suspects Call the other suspect who declared to have been at the cinema last night into the class. Start with the police officers of the second group this time. Tell them to ask questions to the suspect. Carry out the same procedure with the other suspect as well. Ask the first group to ask some questions to the fourth suspect.

The Last Stage (5-10 minutes) • To find out whether the suspects are guilty

After all the police officers question the suspects, it is time for them to decide whether the 1st or the 2nd pair committed the crime. The students will try to find discrepancies in the suspects' answers and the details of the story and give a decision as two separate groups. The pair which does not have any discrepancy in their declaration or has less discrepancy than the other will be innocent. The two groups will say which pair is guilty and give reasons for their decisions.

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