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Students create an alibi to explain what they were doing at 8:00pm last night. A speaking activity using the past continuous.

Level:  Intermediate

Grammar:  Past continuous

Time:  60 minutes


  • Make one copy of the Handout for each group.



Students get into groups of 4 or 5 people.


Pass out the Handout to each group.


Students read What happened and Your task on the Handout, and create an alibi. Allow around 10 minutes for groups to create an alibi. Remind students to use the past continuous. 


Ask the first group to leave the room and wait for a few minutes in the hall. They are now the suspects and must present their alibi one by one. Before the first student enters the room, have the students in the room decide three questions to ask the suspects.


The first suspect enters the room and sits in a chair at the front of the room. The students ask their three questions and write down the answers. Continue with the remaining suspects one by one.


After each suspect in the group has given his or her alibi, tell the group how many questions they answered correctly. If each person responded with the same answer, then the group is cleared. If not, write down how many answers were different on the board.


Continue in the same way with the remaining groups.


The group that has the most answers wrong is guilty.

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