Who’s Lying Now? is a gameshow type of activity which encourages question and answers from students. It is based on similar television shows and require little or no preparation.
The activity can be used for intermediate and above classes, from teenage to adult.
Running the Activity
Tell the class about some aspect of your life that is unknown to them. This can be almost anything (though keep it away from being too personal) so for example these would be good suggestions:
- When I was 7 I broke my leg jumping off the roof of my house.
- My Uncle played for Manchester United from 1980 till 1987.
The important thing is it has to be true. Afterwards discuss the statement and talk about truth and lying about these things.
Give the class 5 minutes or so to individually come up with and write down on a slip of paper (you might like to hand these out) a secret about their own lives along with their name. Make sure they know that they mustn’t let anyone else in the class know about it yet, but they will reveal it later (so that they don’t write down anything too embarrassing they wouldn’t like the rest of the class to know).
Once the class has done that, get them into groups of 3. As far as it is possible, get the groups spread out so they can’t overhear each other. In the groups they must very quietly tell each other about their secrets and the background to them. While they are doing this you can go around and collect the slips of paper and help out with any language points that arise here.
Now comes the reveal. Put the slips of paper into a basket or something similar and choose one at random which you can read out. The group who have that secret must come to the front of the class and stand facing the class, make sure they are as “poker faced” as possible to give nothing away.
The rest of the class can now ask them questions. Each of the students at the front must answer as though the secret was theirs.
For example, suppose the “secret” was I have George Clooney’s autograph.
Q to S1: Where did you meet him?
S1: My older brother is an actor and he had a small part in a film; he got the autograph for me.
Q to S2: What is the autograph written on?
S2: The back of an envelope.
Q to S3: When did this happen?
S3: When I saw him at the premier of Ocean’s 13; I was in the front of the crowd.
And so on. You can organize the questioning in different ways, either one question to all the students or one per student, one from each group, etc.
At the end the different groups have to select the student they think is telling the truth. Points can be awarded to teams who guess correctly.
Variations on a Theme
- ham it up a little; as teacher you can play the game show host here
- once the game’s been played a few times, your students can be encouraged to be more inventive and play the part a little more