Two Truths and a Lie
An Icebreaker Activity for Middle and High School
(10 minute version or 25 minute version)
- Start by modeling the process by telling two truths and a lie (preferably something that could plausibly be true) about yourself. Ex statements such as:
I have two children.
I once won a pie-eating contest.
When I was ten, I hated science.
- Allow the class to guess which is the lie. Allow about a minute for every student to think of two truths and a lie about himself/herself.
- Have the students form groups of four, preferably with people they do not know well (or assign at random). They should sit together for the remainder of the activity.
- Within each group, students mst first learn each other’s names. Then they are to tell each other two things that are true about themselves and one that is a lie (preferably something that MIGHT be true). The others in the group must determine which the lie is. Allow about five to six minutes for the groups to complete this.
- Tell each group they must choose two of the truths about the members of their group and one lie to share with the class. Have them write them down legibly. For example: One member of our group once traveled to Russia, one member… etc.
(Ten minute version stops here)
Ten minute version conclusion:
Ask if the class found out any surprises through this process, then proceed to rest of the “truths” about the course, etc. Perhaps throw in one “lie” to keep them attentive.
Teacher can post some of the results on class web page, bulletin board, or as the fact of the day on the blackboard for the next week or two.
Continuing (longer version):
- Have the groups report back to the class and allow other groups to guess which were the truths and lie from each group. Once the truth is known, each group should tell the names of all members and which person the truths are about.
- After all groups have reported and been guessed, if there is time compose as a class:
- Two truths and a lie about the class as a whole
(Ex. In Mrs. Jones’ 4th period class, one person…. and another person ….)
- What they believe to be two truths and a lie about the subject they will be studying (Ex. Biology will involve memorizing tons of Latin words.)
- POST the whole-class truths and lies on a bulletin board for the first month of school and revisit them, if appropriate. You could even ask which of their preconceived "truths" about the class have proven to be "lies" and vice versa.
Want to see more ideas?
See a full list of reviewed resources ideal for first day activities.