Murder | Energizer


Materials: Prepare chits of paper (no. of chits = no of Ss). If you’re lazy, write “Cop” on one, “Murderer” on the other and leave the rest blank. Or, fill the others with the names of celebrities. I like to use silly characters from Bollywood (Pappu Pager, Munna Mobile etc). Fold chits and place them in a bag or a box.

No. of Ss: Max 25.

Duration: 5 to 10 minutes

Procedure: Get the Ss to sit in  a large circle and give the following instructions:

  • We’re going to play a game called murder. Who do we need for a murder to happen? (Elicit: a murderer). And who do we need if we have a murderer on the prowl? (Elicit: a cop to catch him/her)
  • In a minute, each of you will receive a chit which has a character on it.
  • If your chit says “Murderer”, then you need to kill people in this room. The murderer kills by winking at his victim (clarify that winking involves one eye whereas blinking involves both your eyes).
  • If your chit says “Cop”, then your job is to catch the killer in action. You only get two chances to catch the killer so be careful about accusing without evidence.
  • If your chit does not say “murderer” or “cop”, then your job is to get killed. Look around the room at everyone. When someone winks at you, continue looking around normally and after a few seconds, act out a nice dramatic death.

After everyone’s received their chit, say “let’s start” to begin the game. The game ends when the cop catches the killer or there are no victims left.


  • Announce who the cop is before the game begins. This is recommended in smaller groups where the game will end quickly and abruptly when the murderer inadvertently winks at the cop.  
  • Have several killers instead of just one.


An optional way of linking the energizer to practicing language is to put Ss into small groups and ask them to use the sequence of events and characters from the game to create stories.  This works particularly well when you’ve used the names of celebrities. It could be an effective albeit morbid way of engaging teenage learners.

Image attribution: Wink by Diego Iaconelli | Flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


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