MAFIA ESL Game: A Massive 60 Minute ESL Speaking Activity

MAFIA ESL Game: A Massive 60 Minute ESL Speaking Activity

Are you looking for an extremely fun ESL speaking activity?  Do you need something that you can use for 30 minutes to 1 hour of your conversation class?

Well, look no further.

We've created a version of the classic game Mafia for the ESL classroom.  To skip the instructions, just go ahead and click the image below to download.  Or click here.


 

60 Minute ESL speaking activity ESL mafia game

 Here are some quick tips before we get started on the instructions!

1. First off, this may sound like a complicated game, but you'll be surprised how quickly the students adapt to it! The students become more active and interested as you progress into the game.

2. This is a role-play/language input activity.  This means there is an allowance for a lot of different language that can be used during the activity.  Encourage your students to go off-script, and don't hesitate to get creative with the role-plays!

3. There is a lot of natural repetition or drilling that occurs in this game. Make sure to amend these phrases to include the target languages you are currently studying! For example, change the phrase 'wake up' to 'I get up at 6 am in the morning' if you are studying time our routines!

Version 1 Instructions

1. Firstly, print out the 'character cards', and review/go over them. Prepare the cards before starting the game according to how many students you have. There should be one policeman, 1 doctor, 3 mafia, and 5 citizens per every 10 students (1/3 of the students should be mafia members).

2. Explain to the students that they will each receive one card and that they must not allow anyone to see their card.  Explain the goal - to find all of the students who are mafia (received mafia cards) before they eliminate all the citizens, and explain the roles - the doctor: can save one person per round; police officer: can investigate one person per round; Mafia - tries to eliminate all the citizens; citizens - survive and identify who the mafia members are

3. Start the game by giving each student a card.

4. Tell the students to 'go to sleep' by saying "citizens of ... go to sleep". The students should respond by putting their heads down and closing their eyes. No peaking!

5. Tell the 'mafia'  to wake up and choose who they are going to kill. They must collectively choose one person by pointing or nodding and then 'go back to sleep'.

6. Tell the 'doctor' to 'wake up' and 'save someone'. As did the mafia, they must choose one student silently (in order to save someone). If that person was chosen by the mafia, you may inform them that they have been saved in the game during step 8 after all students have woken up.

7. Tell the police officer to “wake up” and choose who they would like to investigate. As did the mafia, they must choose one student silently (in order to investigate). If that person is a member of the mafia, you may inform them that they have are out of the game during step 8 after all students have woken up.

8. Finally, announce that  “the citizens of _____ wake up!" Tell the students that there are 4 students are the mafia and they have tried to eliminate a citizen. They all must choose/vote for one student who they think is a member of the mafia. 

9. The student who gets the most votes is out of the game, and the game continues from step 4 until all the mafia members are out or all the citizens are out. The members that are left win the game!

Version 2 Instructions

 

*Version 2 follows the same format, but allows students to create their own characters! Have your students follow the same instructions, but also fill out the empty fields next to each character.

 

1. Firstly, print out the 'character cards', and review/go over them. Prepare the cards before starting the game according to how many students you have. There should be one policeman, 1 doctor, 3 mafia, and 5 citizens per every 10 students (1/3 of the students should be mafia members).

2. Explain to the students that they will each receive one card and that they must not allow anyone to see their card.  Explain the goal - to find all of the students who are mafia (received mafia cards) before they eliminate all the citizens, and explain the roles - the doctor: can save one person per round; police officer: can investigate one person per round; Mafia - tries to eliminate all the citizens; citizens - survive and identify who the mafia members are

3. Start the game by giving each student a card.

4. Tell the students to 'go to sleep' by saying "citizens of ... go to sleep". The students should respond by putting their heads down and closing their eyes. No peaking!

5. Tell the 'mafia'  to wake up and choose who they are going to kill. They must collectively choose one person by pointing or nodding and then 'go back to sleep'.

6. Tell the 'doctor' to 'wake up' and 'save someone'. As did the mafia, they must choose one student silently (in order to save someone). If that person was chosen by the mafia, you may inform them that they have been saved in the game during step 8 after all students have woken up.

7. Tell the police officer to “wake up” and choose who they would like to investigate. As did the mafia, they must choose one student silently (in order to investigate). If that person is a member of the mafia, you may inform them that they have are out of the game during step 8 after all students have woken up.

8. Finally, announce that  “the citizens of _____ wake up!" Tell the students that there are 4 students are the mafia and they have tried to eliminate a citizen. They all must choose/vote for one student who they think is a member of the mafia. 

9. The student who gets the most votes is out of the game, and the game continues from step 4 until all the mafia members are out or all the citizens are out. The members that are left win the game!

What do you think?

Let us know in the comments.

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