B2 Level EFL/ ESL Lesson: Reported (Indirect) Speech; Crime

How to teach Reported (Indirect) Speech?

Here is an Upper Intermediate English Lesson Plan (B2) that will help you teach:
Target Grammar: Reported Speech (Indirect Speech)
Target Vocabulary: Crime

Warm Up

Look at the pictures. Who do you think is the criminal? What gives him away? What is his story?

How to teach Reported Speech: Lesson Warm up. Three Culprits ESL Lesson Grammar point: Reported Speech, Vocabulary: Crime


1. Read the text and fill in the blanks.

My cousin Ronnie was a burglar. Well, he probably would be still hadn’t he been _______________for 2 years. He couldn’t get away with it last time because one of the neighbors _______________witnessed everything, and testified against him. I told him many times that he could not escape the law. I told him there were honest ways _______________but he wouldn’t listen. He said to me once he was doing it for the adrenaline, for the feeling he got when he managed to outwit the cops.

2. Mark the statements T for true and F for false.

  1. The witness of the burglary was Ronnie’s neighbour.
  2. Ronnie was a thief because he needed the money.
  3. Ronnie wanted to outwit the policemen.

Grammar Box:

Reported Speech Explained

[adrotate banner=”9″]

Here is how some of the tenses are transformed:

Direct SpeechIndirect (Reported) Speech
Present Simple (I say)Past Simple (I said)
Present Continuous (I am saying)Past Continuous (I was saying)
Present Perfect (I have said)Past Perfect (I had said)
Future Simple (I will say)Future Simple in the Past (I would say)
Past Simple ( I said)Past Perfect (I had said)



1. Transform the sentences to indirect speech.

For example: ‘I was fined for jaywalking,’ Rebecca complained.
 Rebecca complained that she had been fined for jaywalking.
  1. ‘I will definitely join tomorrow’s animal rights protest,’ Violeta added.
  2. ‘The detectives did a good job,’ he assured me.
  3. ‘It is against the law,’ my lawyer explained.

2. Change the sentences to direct speech.

  1. Jeremy said his second cousin was in jail.
  2. Tom assured the police he had been at home in the night of the crime.
  3. Tamara said his offense required very harsh punishment.


1. You are a detective at a crime scene (burglary). What clues and evidence will you be looking for? Make a list of at least 10 things, and explain why.