The aim of this excuses speaking activity is to come up with an explanation in 10 different situations. It requires quick thinking and creativity from the students and might easily be introduced as a game where whoever invents the best excuse gets a point.
A student needs to come with an excuse in a given situation. The premise is that the students are not telling the truth excusing themselves. The rest of the group / their partner should ask questions to see whether the invented story checks out, prompting the excuse maker to stick to the false scenario. If after three questions the excuse still holds up, the student gets a point.
Situation: You don’t have your homework, the teacher won’t believe the same old story. What’s your excuse?
Student: My brother took my homework to school with him by accident!
Question from the class: What brother? I didn’t know you had a brother.
I planned this excuses speaking activity for my teenage students, who are not always particularly keen on speaking in class, or opt out with “I don’t know”/” It depends.” This activity requires a lot of creativity and fast thinking, which is why not all students felt comfortable inventing excuses. Still, it engages the whole group in trying to uncover the truth. It is a pretty funny and dynamic exercise, suitable to use at the end of class when the group are getting restless counting down the minutes.