Impostor on the Space Station

Students work in groups to solve tasks. However, one student is an impostor trying to sabotage the activity! Can the rest of the team get the correct answers and find the impostor?

Submitted by lilywinterwood

November 10, 2021

Estimated time: 45+ minutes broken into 5-minute chunks

Materials Needed
This game requires some advance planning to set up the components, which is why it's best for a dedicated vocabulary review activity, or a holiday/culture activity. You'll need the following:

1) Index cards with either "Crewmate" or "Impostor" written on them. Make sure there is at least one "Impostor" card for each group. I have found groups of five (4 crewmates, 1 impostor) to work well, but you can increase or decrease the numbers of the groups depending on what suits you.

2) Printed versions of your activity worksheets. I've attached mine, but since my students are intermediate-level JHS, you may need to modify or make your own. The activities should be just hard enough that crewmates might also make genuine mistakes -- if they're too easy, it will be easy to spot the impostor!

3) Activity components:
-If you are doing hangman, a whiteboard/blackboard will be helpful.
-If you are doing alphabet rearranging, Scrabble or Bananagram tiles (or print out the letters on paper and make your own) will be helpful.
-If you are doing sentence rearranging, magnetic poetry words (or print out the words needed and make your own) will be helpful.
-If you are doing a listening activity, either pre-record the message or have the JTE read it each time. I have attached below the recording of the listening activity I used.


1) Have students move their desks into small groups.

2) Place activities & role cards at these groups.

3) Give each team the worksheet.

4) Ask students to give each other a role card. They must keep the role secret.

5) Explain the role of the crewmate and the impostor. The crewmate is trying to get the correct answer. The impostor is trying to get the wrong answer without being obvious.

6) Have the students do the activity at their table. It helps to label each activity with a number.

7) Check the students' progress. You can check their answers if you don't have too many groups or the students finish early, or you can save going over the answers together until the end of class.

8) If you check answers as you go, teams can earn points for correct answers. This might help them find the impostor.

9) After the activity is done or time is up, the students will vote by pointing.
-Students can point at each other, or point up if they don't know.
-Have the students vote together.

10) After voting, students will reveal their role cards.
-If a majority of students vote for the impostor, then the crewmates win.
-If there is no majority, or everyone skipped their vote (pointing up), the impostor wins.
-If you have a stamp or sticker system in place, this is a good time to reward either the impostor, or the crewmates who successfully identified the impostor.

11) After reveals, the students will go to the next set of desks. There they will pick a new impostor from the role cards and start the next activity.
-Make sure to reset any rearranging or sorting activities beforehand.

12) Students do not have to do every single activity -- I put in extras so that there's a variety of things to do. A 45-50 minute class will probably get through about 4 activities if you hold tight to 5-minute activity time. You can adjust this depending on your students' levels.

13) If you aren't checking answers as you go, go over the answers together at the end of class. Teams with the most amount of correct answers wins.


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