Players: 6+

Materials: objects that can easily be held and hidden

Time: 10+ minutes

Targets: asking questions, vocabulary

Basic Idea: Players get “burgled in the night” and have to ask questions to figure out who took something from them or their classmates. Accused burglars take a step toward freedom with every question and false accusation.

 

Instructions

  1. 3-5 thieves are chosen to burgle their fellow classmates; the remaining students are potential targets.
  2. The thieves stand at the front of the room, side by side.
  3. All other students choose something that may be taken (a pen, notebook, eraser, etc.) and put it in an accessible place on their desk. The object should be reasonably concealable.
  4. When the instructor says, “Lights out!” students must close their eyes and bury their heads in their arms on their desks.
  5. The thieves will go around the class and choose one object each before returning to the front of the class hiding the objects behind their backs.
  6. When the instructor says, “Rise and shine!” students raise their heads and try to guess who stole their items. Two things must happen here:

I. Victims must describe their items to everyone so the class can help guess who stole each item.

Victim 1: Someone stole my red pen! It was long and thin with a white shaft (body) and red cap.

Victim 2: Someone stole my book! It was a thick math book.

II. The class must ask each thief about what he or she stole using yes or no questions

Student A: Thief 1, is your object long and thin?

Burglar 1: No, it isn’t.

Student B: Thief 1, is your object heavy?

Burglar 1: Yes, it’s kind of heavy.

Class: I know! You stole Victim 2’s book!

Burglar 1: You got me! / You got the wrong guy

  1. Each question asked allows the thieves to take a step toward the door. Once the thieves get through the door, they are free.
  2. False accusations allow the thieves three steps toward the door.

 

Variations

  • The decoy: Five students stand at the front of the room. Four are thieves as usual, but the fifth takes a neutral object (not from one of the students)
  • The liar: Make 1 student a liar. He or she doesn’t take anything, but will pretend to have a victim’s item.