The Two Truths And A Lie ESL activity is a bluffing game that’s perfect for getting to know your students, practising questions, or a number of different grammar topics.
If this is the first time your class is doing the activity, prepare and model three example sentences first yourself.
- Each student writes down three sentences about themselves (facts, life experiences etc.), two of which are true and one of which is a lie. They must be things the rest of the class doesn’t know!
- Students take turns reading aloud their sentences and answering questions about them, as if they were all true.
- The other students have to guess which one is the lie. With larger groups you could take votes and keep score of how many people each person manages to fool.
Tip: If kids aren’t paying attention, call them out and ask them to repeat the answer to a question just asked.
As well as being a great icebreaker or warmer, the Two Truths And A Lie ESL activity is great for practising questions, speaking fluency and listening. If you focus on life experiences, the game lends itself to the present perfect simple and past simple grammar in particular. Make sure your students understand they need to write their statements in the present perfect and ask/answer in the past simple.
If your target language is modal verbs of possibility, ask the students to give you their opinions using this grammar before they vote on the true sentence. For example for modal verbs of possibility in the present, Number three might be true, but number one can’t be true…. Or for modal verbs of past possibility, They can’t have done that because….
Everyone from lower intermediate students right the way up to advanced students can get something out of this game because the questions that are asked will vary with the level of the students. More advanced students will try to trip each other up with difficult questions and fool others by making their lies more fluent.
Once your students are familiar with the concept of this activity, you could also try the team game Would I Lie To You as a similar way to practise the same language.
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