I got this strategy from Penny Ur & Andrew Wright’s book ‘Five Minute Activities.’

I think this is a great strategy to use in mainstream classrooms and here is how it works.

Two learners stand with their backs to the board. They are the detectives that listen to evidence.

Write a sentence / situation on the board.

The other learners act as ‘witnesses’ and suggest evidence that helps the dectectives guess the sentence / situation.  The witnesses must do this without actually saying words or phrases from the sentence / situation on the board.

For example, if the sentence / situation is ‘It is a plant cell’, the ‘witnesses must say:

It has a cell wall.

It has a large vacuole.

It has chloroplasts.

It could be turned in to a team game with groups of learners competing against each other.

I’ve used this strategy in a number of ways and in a number of different subject areas. My learners love competing against each other.  It is a great way to practice speaking and use other words or phrases to explain a concept.



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