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Level: Intermediate
Objectives: To speak as much as possible about crime

To practice using crime-related vocabulary correctly

To talk about what someone were doing using the past continuous

To practice making persuasive arguments to support opinions
Materials: Crime Dialogue

Past Continuous

Crime Laminates

Background: Crime happens everywhere. Everyone will have something to say about it, and its highly
applicable for stimulating discussion. In China, there is a comparatively lower rate of crime
than in most other countries. Capital punishment is much more common than in other
countries. Many people feel that China is a safe country, though Chinese peoples fear of
crime is relatively high. Corruption, especially in government, seems to grow exponentially
every year. As would be indicated by the widespread use of detector machines,
counterfeiting is a severe problem. Thievery is also very common, which is why people
often keep their bags in front of themselves in crowded places. On the other hand, gun
control is very strict, so gun-related crime rates are quite low. Some Chinese might be
worried about traveling to a country such as the U.S., where gun-crime occurs more often.

Warm-Up: Ask the students about things they know to be crimes. If a word seems new to some of the
(5 min)
students, write it on the board and ask the other students to explain.

Write the following words/phrases on the board and elicit their meanings from the
(5 min)
students: commit crime, witness, criminal, steal, rob, thief, kill, murder, drug, legal, illegal,
enforce, punishment, jail, prison, report, counterfeit, corruption, victim

Dialogue: Read the Crime Dialogue together as a class. Have all the students take turns reading one
(15 min)
line at a time. Check their pronunciation as you go through and correct them if necessary.

Go over the new words and try to elicit their meanings from students that already know.

Ask the students questions to confirm their understanding of the dialogue.

Grammar: Hand out the Past Continuous sheets and read it together as a class. Ask the students
(10 min)
questions that will elicit a response that uses the past continuous to ensure their

understanding, e.g. What were you doing?

1. Place the Crime Laminates onto the table for all of the students to see. Go through
(20 min)
pictures 1 through 10 and ask them if they know what the crimes in each of the pictures are
called. Which crime do they think is the worst? Which do they think is the least worst? Ask
the students to argue for why they think particular crime is the worst/least worst.
2. Next, ask the students to rank all of the crimes from worst to least worst. Prompt them to
debate over which crime deserves which spot on list. Continue until they are able to agree
on a list.
3. Next, what is the punishment for each of these crimes? Do you think it is a suitable
punishment? If not, what would be a better punishment?
1. Pickpocketing
2. Counterfeiting
3. Corruption
4. Armed robbery
5. Drug dealing
6. Mugging
7. Arms dealing
8. Drunk driving
9. Kidnapping
10. Assault

(20 min)

(5 min)

Write the following questions on the board and put the students into pairs to discuss each
question. Walk around the room listening to each pair, and give corrective coaching when
needed. Take note of which questions provide the most stimulating discussion. If some of
the students are moving too quickly through the questions, jump in to ask them some
follow-up questions to slow them down. When each pair is finished, bring the class back
together and re-ask students the questions that gave the most interesting answers.
1. What are some of the most common crimes China? Is it the same in other countries?
2. Why do people commit crimes? What is something that would cause you to commit a
3. Have you ever witnessed a crime? When? What did you do? If youve never witnessed a
crime, what would you do if you did?
4. What are some things that are illegal, but not enforced? Why are they not enforced?
5. What are some things that should be illegal, but are not? Why arent they illegal?
6. If your friend or someone in your family committed a crime, what would you do? Would

you report them to the police? Why or why not?
7. What are some things you can do to avoid being a victim of certain crimes, e.g.
pickpocketing? Are you afraid of being a victim of a crime?
8. Do you think capital punishment is a good idea? Do you think that it helps reduce crime?
9. What do you think about the police and prisons in China? Do you know any differences
between Chinas prisons and other countries?
Take the last few minutes of class to check the students comprehension of new words.
Point to the new words youve written on the board and ask the students what they mean.
If theyve forgotten, give them hints to elicit the correct response.