To Tell the Truth

In this activity, 3-4 students (“truth tellers”) will talk about a unique fact or life experience that is true for only one of them (the “central character”). The remainder of the class will ask follow-up questions to each of the truth tellers. The central character will always tell the truth in this activity, while the other students may lie about their experiences. The audience’s goal is to try to deduce who the central character is within a time limit.

Varies depending upon how many rounds; ~10 minutes per round.

Prior to class (all modes):

  1. Prior to class, ask students to provide you with something unique about themselves that they feel comfortable sharing with the rest of the class. This can be a fact or life experience that they have had.
  2. After collecting this information, create slides with a few of these items at the top (one for each round you plan to do in class). Keep an answer key available to only you for class.
  3. Decide which students will serve as the “truth tellers” – students who will claim the fact on the slide as their own. Make sure you include the person that submitted the statement in that group.

In person classes:

  1. Introduce this activity to students, explaining that groups of 3-4 students will be brought to the front of the room and that all but one of those students will be lying about the fact that you present on your slides. Explain to students that the remaining individuals will ask follow-up questions of each of the standing students to try to figure out who the fact actually applies to.
  • Tell students how much time each round will be.
  1. Bring your first group of 3-4 students to the front of the room and then project the fact. Give all students a minute to read the statement. This allows the liars to come up with a back story and audience members to think of some questions.
  2. Begin by having each of the “truth tellers” read the statement aloud to the room. Then, have audience members ask specific students their follow-up questions. The standing group will try their best to answer the questions that they are asked. The central character will always tell the truth, while the others are allowed to lie.
  3. After your time limit has elapsed, allow the audience members to vote for who they think the statement is really about.
  4. Confirm for the room who was actually telling the truth. Then, allow the liars to share the statements they shared with you.
  • Consider allowing students to ask follow-up questions about the liars’ statements too.
  1. Continue this process for the remaining rounds of this activity.

Online classes: This activity will function similarly to the steps listed above for in person class sessions. In online environments, you should share your screen with the presentation that has the statements prepared on it. Instead of students standing at the front of the room, you will pin the students who are serving as the “truth tellers” in each of the rounds. It is also helpful to list the students who would be standing at the front of the room on the slide in a random order so audience members can distinguish who this group of students is more easily. Mixed mode classes: In mixed mode classes, the easiest way to group students is to keep online students with other online students and in person students with other in person students. Make sure all students can see that statements clearly by projecting and sharing your screen.

At a Glance

To Tell the Truth

timerClass Time Requirements: < 10 Minutes

timerPreparation Time: Low

Bloom’s Levels:

Create info Putting materials together to form a unique product.
Evaluate info Making judgments based on checking against given criteria.
Analyze info Breaking materials into parts to determine structures and relationships.
Apply info Using procedures to carry out a task.
Understand info Constructing meaning from information.
Remember info Using memory to recall facts and definitions.

Learn more about Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Associated Technology Tools:
Zoom Google Slides Google Slides Google Forms Google Forms
Associated Teaching Strategies:
Socio-emotional Learning (SEL)