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Bank Robbery

Activity type: Role play in which students have to act as witnesses to a bank robbery.
Level: Intermediate and above

Teacher's notes:

  1. Before you begin this activity, print out the roles below and fill out students’ names in the gaps provided i.e. in roles 10, 11 and 15. Pick confident, dominant students for this because they ultimately will be accused of a crime and so they need to be happy to accept that role.
  2. Put the students into pairs to talk about types of crimes that they have read about lately in the news. As they are talking monitor and correct. Also try to question some of the students about robberies and whether they have heard of a robbery recently.
  3. Bring the group back together and ask the students to tell you what they discussed. Once they have done this explain that they were all witnesses to a crime and that they will each be given a role.
  4. Hand out the roles and allow the students time to read them and to remember them. If there are any questions from the students, deal with them then.
  5. Ask the students to stand up and to mingle with each other explaining and listening to each other. Remind them to speak to everyone because only by doing this will they be able to piece together the whole story.
  6. After they have mingled for about 20-30 minutes, tell the students to get into pairs and to try to put together the whole story. The result should be that students tell you that there was a bank robbery yesterday at around 4pm. Three robbers went into the bank and demanded money. They were wearing black and one had a gun etc.
  7. The students who have been added to the roles are the ones that actually committed the crime. Make sure that this comes out during the feedback; it should be fun for the students to realize that they were involved in the crime.

Note: this is a good activity for practicing past tenses e.g. past simple, and past continuous.

Extension: Ask the students to write up a crime report about the incident. If they need to, they can re-interview some of the witnesses

You were standing next to the bank at 4pm yesterday. You saw one person standing outside the bank.

You were in the bank changing money, you heard someone shout “Get on the floor” and so you lay down.

You saw three people dressed in black. They ran to the counter and demanded money.

You saw one person in black with a gun. He/She was pointing it at the bank teller. She was putting money into a bag.

You were standing outside the bank. You saw a blue car stop in front of the bank and three people got into it.

You were standing next to the bank manager in the bank. You were asking about the bank. Suddenly, he ran passed you and left the bank.

You were waiting on line when you heard a gun shot, you screamed and fell to the floor.

You were waiting buy the bank and you saw one person shoot a gun into the sky. He was shouting to three other people.

You saw three people take a bag of money out of the bank. They were wearing black masks.

You were standing by the telephone outside the bank. You heard one person shout come on _____________________________!

You were waiting for a telephone. You saw three people in black run to a blue car. They had a big black bag. One said his name- ________________________!

You were trying to use the cash machine outside the bank when you heard a gun shot and three people. They were running to a blue car. There was a fourth man in the car.

You were standing next to a blue car outside the bank. You saw three people run out of the bank. They jumped into the car and it drove off. You then saw the police came.

You were walking to the bank when you saw a police car speed towards the bank.

You were waiting at the airport. You saw a blue car arrive; four women got out. You heard two names __________________________ and ___________________________! They tried to get to a plane but the police caught them!

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