Guilty is a spin-off of the old board game Clue, with elements of the Nintendo Switch game Fakin' It. Students prepare their own cards then play a game based on bluffing your way through an alibi. It's a bit of a long game with student preparation time but it's so much fun.

Basic Info

Time: 15 ~ 20 mins
Level: Junior High Grade 2
Works with: I was playing tennis.
Class size: Medium to large

You will need:

  • Blank, uniform, card sized pieces of card (or paper, but something where students won't be able to see what is written on the other side.)


  1. Students make groups of about 4 ~ 6.
  2. In groups, they think of alibis. eg "I was watching TV (at home)."
    Alibis are written on the cards and groups should prepare one or two more alibis than there are students in the group. (See tips.)
  3. In a group of 5, the dealer takes 4 alibis and one blank/guilty card. (See tips.)
  4. With a group of 5, students shuffle 4 alibi cards with the blank/guilty card. Cards are dealt and kept secret.
  5. Everyone reads out their alibi. The guilty player must fake their alibi. Either by repeating what a previous player has said or by recalling an alibi that hasn't been read out. (See tips.)
  6. Once everyone has read out their alibi, count down from three and everyone points to who they think is guilty. The person with the most fingers pointing their way must show their card.


  • Ensure everyone in the group takes a turn writing an alibi. Write one, pass the pen.
  • You can leave the guilty card blank or write guilty on it. If blank, hand it out after writing period ends. If you prepare it beforehand with "Guilty!" written on it, you can hand it out at the start with the other cards.
  • When you demonstrate this game, show that showing your card, even when innocent, is a no-go.
  • Yūzai (有罪) is the Japanese word for guilty. It may help in your explanation. Aribai (アリバイ) is the Japanese word for alibi.


  • If you play this game a second time, you can change it so within groups, students work in pairs. This way, the grammar changes from "I was ..." to "(S)he was ..."
    When it comes time for finger pointing, expect a different dynamic as pairs start working together.


The preparation for this game can take some time but it's valuable learning time for the students because they are creating their own English from their own ideas. True communication (even if it is written). Also, a lot of fun. And if you do it a second time, it runs a lot smoother.

This game is a great way to review "I was playing tennis." or similar grammar. This grammar shows up in Sunshine 2 Program 1 - 3.

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