Whodunit

Introduction:

This is a fun creative writing activity to practise making predictions. Students come up with a short crime story, write a description of a crime scene and try to predict who the murderer is in the short stories written by other students.

Level: B1+

Time: 60 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To develop speaking confidence and come up with a short story.
  2. To write a detailed description of  a crime scene.
  3. To confidently and correctly use prediction language to guess who the murderer is based on other students’ descriptions of a crime scene.

Materials:

  1. Whodunit worksheet, one per pair.

Procedure:

  1. In pairs, ask students to discuss and describe their favourite crime series or a detective story.
  2. Write who, why, what, where, when, and how on the board.
  3. In the same pairs ask students to orally come up with a short crime story making sure they answer AT MINIMUM the following questions: Who was killed and why? What happened? Where and when the crime took place and how did the victim die? Encourage students to enrich their story with as many details as possible. You could also brainstorm crime vocabulary at this stage.
  4. When the students have finished, hand each pair a Whodunit worksheet. Still in the same pairs ask the students to describe JUST the crime scene but without revealing who the murderer is and why they committed the crime.
  5. Once the students have finished they swap Whodunit worksheets with another pair.
  6. Students now read the description of the crime scene written by their classmates, and using the expressions given, try to predict who the murderer is and why they committed the crime, e.g. The chances are that Dorothy was killed by her lover’s jealous ex-girlfriend. There is no doubt that Stu killed his business partner over financial differences.  Tell students to underline the expressions to make them more visible.
  7. Students then pass the Whodunit worksheet to the next pair who, without reading what the previous pair wrote, continue making predictions, e.g. It’s likely that Stu poisoned Karolina to claim her life insurance.
  8. Students continue passing their Whodunit worksheet round until each pair in the class have made their predictions.
  9. At the end of the activity, students read the predictions made by other students about their case and decide who came closest to their story.
  10. Ask students to briefly tell the whole story to the rest of the class.

P.S. To a very special Coroner’s Officer who inspired this post. Thank you.

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