This role-play can be used with students who are studying about aliens (a common course-book topic), for the practice and revision of narrative tenses or as a lead in to writing newspaper stories.

You will need to photocopy the role-play to give each student a role card and each pair the initial story. Download this below.


  • Draw a map of England on the board and highlight the fictional town of Huntingdugton. Tell the students that it is famous for UFO (unidentified flying objects) sightings.
  • Then give them the short newspaper story and ask them what happened on that particular night. Check everybody understands the story.
  • Divide the class into A (reporter) and B (Joe Cole) and ask them to sit together in their groups.
  • Give the students some preparation time together to write down questions (if they are reporters) or invent their stories (if they are Joe Cole).
  • When they are prepared, match every reporter with a Joe Cole and tell them to conduct an interview. Make sure that the newspaper reporters note down what they are told.
  • Finally, hand out sheets of paper and ask the pair to draw a picture and write the story of what happened.

The writing can be done at home, one version is the journalist's sensationalist story and the other is Joe's true account. They can then be compared in class. 

Richard Frost

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