- Ask students if they've ever had parties. If they have, tell them to share experiences with the class. If they haven't, explain to them what a party is.
- Tell students to remember the last party they had. Some guests were invited but some didn't come.
- Divide class into two parts, A students who attended the party and B students who didn't attend.
- Tell B students who didn't attend the party to prepare their excuses for when they are asked for them.
- Tell A students who attended the party to ask B questions to find the reasons for not attending.
- Tell them to give a range of excuses in different ways. Otherwise they repeat one excuse every time.
- Be careful to keep the students changing partners. The A students could also tell the B student about the party.
- If you use this activity when you've just introduced a new structure that is appropriate here, for example 'had to' or 'was/were', you will hopefully notice that students will use it without you having to prompt them.
- You can do some variations, such as excuses for not doing things on time or excuses for not keeping your word etc.