(I thought it might be helpful to readers and myself if I described some of my favorite activities from time to time. See all my ESL Activity Corner posts here.)
I don’t usually choose to use this one in my own classroom. I mean, first of all, it’s a drinking game. Second of all, do we really want to get to know each other by lying? And third of all, since we’re all lying about something, it can lead to confusion, especially in a language-learning setting.
Boy, I should’ve gone into marketing, eh? I can really sell these activities.
I’m including it because as an assistant teacher, I’ve seen this activity used multiple times to great effect. Nobody cares (or knows?) that it’s a drinking game, most people seem to have fun making up a lie to innocently trick everyone, and I’ve been impressed at how little confusion results from this game.
Plus there’s no prep, it requires no materials, and is general enough to be used in many levels and situations.
- Write the name of the game on the board.
- Model: tell two truths and one lie about yourself. It’s helpful to write them on the board at all but the highest levels. Have students guess which is the lie. When they identify the lie, go ahead and draw a line through it to show that it is indeed not true.
- Give students time (around five minutes) to think of two truths and one lie about themselves.
- Call on students randomly to share their two truths and their lie. Encourage the other students to guess which is the lie: the first, second, or third sentence.
It’s really simple, it doesn’t take much time, and people seem to get a kick out of it.
Note: there’s usually someone in all but the highest classes who doesn’t quite get that they are supposed to tell one untrue “fact” about themselves. When that happens, remember that it’s inevitable and be prepared to joke, “You’re just too truthful!” or “You’re so honest!” No big deal.
Give it a try!