Copyright © 2014 Emma Gore-Lloyd

I finally found an opportunity to play this silly warm-up game. I’d played it with friends at a comedy improv night, not knowing what would happen, and it resulted in lots of laughter, a successful night of (very amateur) comedy improv (where teamwork is a necessity), and some strong group bonds being made, so I really wanted an opportunity to use it in class. And what was the topic of the next unit in our FCE book? Crime! Yippee! I used this game as a warmer and afterwards asked them to guess the topic of the lesson.

Here’s how it goes:

  • Tell all the students to stand up.
  • Ask them to silently choose someone in their head who is going to be their assassin and to keep it a secret.
  • Then they choose someone who is going to be their bodyguard – and keep that a secret too.
  • When the game starts, everyone must move to try to keep their bodyguard between them and their assassin, so that they are protected. (Model this first!)
  • After a couple of minutes of craziness, call a it to a halt and everyone can share who their assassin and bodyguard were or guess those of others.

I highly recommend playing it along with your students, and not just because it’s fun. It only takes a few minutes and it’s good for group bonding, innit? And a strong group means a productive class.

I’m thinking of trying it with my Elementary class to practise the past simple of the verb to be: “Who was your assassin?” “Was Oliver your assassin?”

If you were in any doubt, this is of course another activity from improvencyclopedia.

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