1. Discuss with the children what is an alibi - it's when someone can account for where they were at a certain time by giving evidence and is necessary to rule out suspects in a crime situation.
2. You are going to set your class a crime situation. Write it on your black/smart board. It can be anything at all but here is one for you.
3. The Crime - Paws The Pet Shop in the High Street was broken into around 6am this morning and pet food was stolen. Three suspects were arrested in a white van which was speeding along the M6 on the outskirts of the town. The back of the van was full of pet food.
4. Now explain that the 3 people arrested say they are completely innocent. The pet food belongs to them and they have a perfectly good reason for being in a hurry at that time of day.
5. Now choose 3 reliable students to go outside of the room and tell them they are the suspects and one-by-one they will have to answer questions about what they were doing to ensure that they are all telling the truth. Outside the room they must think about their story. Where were they going with the pet food? Why were they speeding? Who owns the van? Who was driving etc Send the 3 out of the room to discuss the fine details.
6. Now with the others in the class ask them to think of good questions that could trip up the the suspects. If the suspects have pets they would know what kind and their names. They would also know what kinds of pet food would be in the van. Spend about five minutes discussing questions. Sometimes the children like to take written notes about questions to ask.
7. Now bring in Suspect 1 who stands facing the class. The class members can ask their prepared questions to this suspect and note (either mentally or write down) the given answers. After about 8-10 questions bring in the second suspect and ask the same questions. The first suspect should be made to face away from the other suspect so that there is no eye contact or possibility of corroboration at this point. The students asking the questions are looking for a different answer being given to a question.
8. Finally bring in the 3rd suspect to be asked the same questions.
The suspects are declared guilty if the make more than three different (if a wrong answer has already been given to a certain question it's not counted) errors in the answering of the questions. If they succeed in making fewer that three they are innocent.
Most children absolutely love this game and once they have played it a few times they will get very good with the questions and the alibi collaboration.
They can invent the next crime to be written up. Crimes that work well obviously either put the suspects very near the crime itself or in this case the people are caught with similar stolen goods.
We have loads of Drama games and topics and although many teachers feel Drama might over excite a class, it actually does the polar opposite. It focuses them brilliantly helping teachers and will settle classes with behavioural issues.