Copy of Teaching Practice 8: Writing
Upper Intermediate level


This lesson will be conducted through a role play activity. The students will try to solve a mystery - writing activities will focus on summary report and note taking. The key language used will be modals of deduction.


Main Aims

  • To provide product writing practice of a Summary report, note taking in the context of Murder mystery

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in a interrogation in the context of murder mystery


Lead-in (5-7 minutes) • setting the context

Set the stage by letting the students know there has been a mysterious death. Instruct the students to work in pairs. Distribute the handout, "Summary of circumstances" and ask the students to discuss with their partners what they think might have happened - give them five minutes. Do a whole class feedback to give the students a chance to share their opinions.

Role Play (5-8 minutes) • assigning roles and brainstorming

Select two students from the class to play the roles of "Simon Naccain" and "Andrea Christie". Give the role card of Simon Naccain and Andrea Christie to the selected students. Let them know that they shouldn't share the information on the card with each other or anyone else. Instruct them to take five minutes to read the information on the role card and prepare for their roles (they can add more detail if they wish). Assign the role of police officers to the remaining students. Instruct them to select one person to be the "interrogator". Let them know they have five minutes to brainstorm a list of questions for the interrogations.

Note Taking • headings, format, structure

Do a whole class discussion. Elicit from the students the structure they will follow to take notes during the interrogations - "Ted's routine. Changes in his routine. Possible reasons for death." Structure to be used, "mind map for first two, list for the last - brief, incomplete sentences".

Note Taking (13-15 minutes) • practice (draft)

Give instructions: Tell the two suspects to introduce themselves. The chosen interrogator will interrogate each suspect for five minutes. (The two suspects should at no point speak to each other) During the interrogation the police officers will take notes for their police report. Use CCQs to check for understanding.

Report writing (10-15 minutes) • brainstorming structure and format and writing report

Introduce the format of the report and the language structure to be used - formal, third person, and use of modals of deduction to talk about the past -- impossible vs possible - can't, might, may, could, must. Ask the students to write their report using the headings; routine, any changes to the routine, possible reasons for death, Give students a copy of the first draft checklist. Ask them to switch their reports with their partner and mark the other student's report using symbols from the checklist; check for style of report, clarity, logic. Swap reports back and make corrections. Do whole class feedback of possible solutions to Ted's death.

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