B1 Investigative Speaking Activity: Detective Game



Age: 14-144
ESL level: CEFR B1
Type: role-play (3 pages, 8 role-play cards + action cards, in pdf format)
Target language: narrative tenses, in focus: past continuous (What were you doing yesterday at 10pm?)

Description of activity: Students work in groups of eight (you need a minimum 8 students for this game). First students draw an action card (You’re the murderer/innocent/an eye-witness/the detective). The student who has drawn the detective card, gets his role-play card with all the details. The other seven students draw a role-play card. This way, every character – apart from the detective – could become the murderer or be innocent. A particular role is that of an eye witness. Now, the detective starts to interrogate all characters, starting from the eye witness. The others need to tailor their story in consideration of their role play card, the eye witness’s story and their action card (innocent or guilty). The aim is to find out who the murderer is. 

You can repeat the role-play, since in a second round another character might be the murderer.

Time: 30+ min
Font: Optima, Garamond
Note: Images supplied courtesy of PIXABAY (
All pictures are free to use also for commercial use without attribution.


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