Do you remember the movie the Sixth Sense? How the little boys says he sees dead people everywhere? My husband says that I am like that. Except that I don´t see dead people everywhere. Instead, I see communicative activities. Where ever we are in our daily lives, I find inspiration for my Spanish classes and workbooks. For instance, my latest idea was to recreate a ¨locked up abroad¨ activity that came from Facebook. I like to call it Alibi.

IT CAME FROM A SERIOUS CONCERN

Last week, I happened to put a poll in my Facebook Group, Future Mexico Expats. First, I asked what people could NOT do in Spanish if it came up today. Therefore, I included every situation I could think of. (Basically all of the times an expat or visiting friend or family member has contacted me asking if I could translate for them.)

Then, as people are responding, I am realizing that they have not given much thought as to what could, and probably will, happen at some point if they live in a foreign country. For example, I said to my husband, what if they ended up locked up abroad? What would they do? And that´s how this communicative activity was born.

HOW TO SET-UP AND PLAY ALIBI

Before starting the game, choose a random time to include in the final report. If the student has provided an alibi which covers that time, he/she is free to go and ¨wins¨ the game. If not, he is she is charged with the crime and ¨loses¨ (although you can include appeals if they want to try again in the next class!).

SPANISH ALIBI ACTIVITY

Here is a video version of the materials I use with this activity.

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ALTERNATIVE VERSIONS

You can adapt the crime and timeline for different ages and levels. It is easy to change the crime to who broke the vase or the missing piece of chocolate cake. Another option is to emphasize places in the home, around town, or whatever topic is being studied at the moment.

BEGINNERS

The crime has happened but the evidence points to someone who specific (who had a certain subject that day or spent time in a room of the house). First, you will need for them to describe their daily routine in detail in order to figure out who the guilty person is. Then, if no one matches the evidence, they are all free. However, if multiple people match, you will have to keep digging for details or charge them all.

PRESENT TENSE

The crime has not happened yet. To begin, you have recieved an anonymous tip instead. So, change all of the grammar to IR + verb. Afterward, have the student account for where he/she is going to be all day today/tomorrow.

CONSPIRACY

If you have more than one student, start by putting them in pairs or small groups. Then, tell them that the police are on their way. Next, they have 5 minutes to come up with an alibi together and to make sure their stories are completely in-sync. Finally, they can be interviewed separately if there are more students in the group/class to act as the police officers, or you can interview them at the same time and taking turns with the questions. Afterwards, the police officers compare answers to see if there are any that don´t match up. (FYI: There are always holes in the stories!)

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