Icebreaker: Two Truths and a Lie (Speaking Activity) ESL

Activity Description: Students hear 3 sentences about their classmates and then decide which one is a lie.

Focus: Getting to know classmates (ice-breaker), speaking

Activity time: 30 minutes (if you have 12 students)

ESL Level: Any

Number of students: 4+

Activity Execution:

This is a good icebreaker-type activity that practices writing, speaking, and listening. It would be good to do on the second or third day or class, after students already know a little bit about each other.

1) On the board, write three sentences about yourself appropriate to the level of the class. For example:

1. I have eaten horse.

2. I was born in New York City.

3. One of my hobbies is playing beach volleyball.

Tell the students that one of the sentences is a lie. Get them to guess and eventually tell them the lie (#2). When finished, tell them that they are going to do the same thing.

2) Give them 5 minutes to write 3 sentences about themselves. Monitor the students and correct their sentences as needed.

3) When everyone has finished, put your students into groups of three. Ask each group to designate one student as the writer.

4) Ask a student to come up to the front of the class and read his/her sentences to the entire class. Ask them to say '1, 2, 3' before each sentence. After s/he has read them all, give the groups a few minutes to discuss which sentence they think is false. When they've decided, ask them to write it down (e.g. if they think Kenji's second sentence is a lie, they write "Kenji – #2"). 

Repeat with all students until finished.

5) When done, ask each student to tell you which of their sentences was a lie. Have the groups check how many lies they guessed correctly. Commend the group with the most correct answers.


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