Monday 28 May 2012

What happened to D.B. Cooper?

You are going to
  • watch a short film about a famous criminal and do some listening comprehension exercises
  • practise some crime vocabulary
  • practise modal verbs for past deduction (may / might/ could / can't / must have + participle)
  • write a report / a biography

1) Intro - Crime vocabulary
How many different kinds of criminals are there?
Match some criminals with the definitions in the exercise below.

2) Discuss
  • What famous criminals or crimes have you heard of?
  • How many criminals get away with their crimes?
  • Do you know of any criminals who have become "heroes"?

3) Video - Before you watch
Have you ever heard of DB Cooper?
He was a criminal who committed a famous crime and got away with it.
Look at the film poster below carefully
  • What crime do you think he could he have committed?
  • How coud he have got away?

Read the gap-fill exercise below quickly and find out if your guesses were right (don't worry about the gaps yet)

  • What was DB Cooper's crime?
  • How much money did he get away with? 
  • How did he get away? 

    4) Video - Watch the first 2 minutes and pause
    Watch the first 2 minutes of the film (0:00 - 01:53)
    After you have watched fill in the gaps in the exercise above. 

    5) Video - Watch the rest of the film
    (01:53 - End)
    Why has DB Cooper become a hero to so many people?

    6) After you watch
    How much did you understand?
    Do the quiz below.

    7) Deductions
    What do you think happened to DB Cooper?
    Detectives make deductions to help solve crimes.
    What language do we use to make deductions?
    See the presentation below. Then make sentences about what you think happened to DB Cooper.

    Can you make sentences / deductions about what happened to DB Cooper?
    • What happened after he parachuted from the plane?
    • Is he alive?
    • Where is he?
    • What's he doing now?
    • What happened to the money?

    Use May / Might / Could / Must / Can't + Be (+ing) to make sentences / deductions about the present
    Use May / Might / Could / Must / Can't (have + Past Participle) to make sentences / deductions about the past

    Further infomation
    • In the autumn of 1978 a placard containing instructions for lowering the aft stairs of a 727, later verified to be from the hijacked airliner, was found by a deer hunter about 13 miles east of Castle Rock, Washington.
    • In February 1980 an eight-year-old boy named Brian Ingram, vacationing with his family on the Columbia River, uncovered three packets of the ransom cash, significantly disintegrated but still bundled in rubber bands. FBI technicians confirmed that the money was  part of the ransom, two packets of 100 bills each and a third packet of 90, all arranged in the same order as when given to Cooper.
    • To date, none of the approximately 9,700 remaining bills has turned up anywhere in the world. Their serial numbers remain available online for public search.
    • In 1981 a human skull was unearthed along the same riverbank during excavations in search of additional evidence. Forensic pathologists eventually decided that it belonged to a woman, possibly of Native American ancestry. 
    • In 1988 a portion of a parachute was raised from the bottom of the Columbia River, but FBI experts determined that it could not have been Cooper's.In 2008, children found another parachute near Amboy, Washington, which proved to be of World War II-era military origin.

    8) Write

    A) Write a report about the DB Cooper case (100 words)
    You are a detective. Write a report about the case.

    • Give a summary of the main points of the case
    • Give your opinion of what might have happened to DB Cooper. Give reasons. Use your powers of deduction!

    B) Write an article about a famous criminal in your country.
    • Introduce the criminal - what crime did they commit? When? Where? How?
    • Give some biography information about the criminal - Where were they born? What kind of family did they come from? What kind of area did they come from?
    • Describe the crime they committed
    • Say why the crime became famous
    • Disuss the motives. Why did they commit the crime? (Can you use any past modals of deduction here?)
    • Conclusion - What happened to the criminal? Where is he or she now? Were they caught by the police? Was the sentence they received fair?

    9) More
    Read about DB Cooper

    Listen again to the poem from the clip (03:40 - 04:28)
    Do the gap fill

    Printable versions here


    1. Great job! Thank you very much .-)

    2. Used this with my students here in France. Thank you. It worked really well!