This is My Truth (or is it?), Tell Me Yours - A Blog Challenge

One of my favourite posts from this month of September is Extending Conversations from Dale Coulter’s languagemoments blog. I always enjoy Dale’s accounts of ‘dogme in action’ and this was no exception with a plethora of ideas for moving beyond/building on the conversation part of the lesson.

One activity he mentioned is a regular favourite of mine: “Telling lies, telling the truth”. The premise is simple - students write a few sentences on a given topic including a lie or two. The rest of the class then discuss which one(s) they think is the lie.

As the conversation on Dale’s post extended through the comments section, I mentioned how I use this as an introductory activity with a new class (I call it “5 things about me”). In my version, I ask the students to write 5 personal statements, 3 of which should be true and 2 of which should be lies. The class then try to deduce what the lies are.

To add a bit of fun, I encourage the students to put each other ‘on the spot’ with a few questions. If, for example, someone says “My favourite football team is Chelsea”, I get my students to ask “Who’s your favourite player?” or “Who did they play against last weekend?” in order to see if there’s any hesitation or contradiction. It’s a good light-hearted way for students to get to know each other and can lead to some funny moments such as I had in my new 6th grade class last week as one boy tried to feign hesitation when being interrogated to throw his classmates off!

It’s not just a ‘getting to know you activity’ though - it’s also a great way for students who have been in the same class for a long time to find out things they didn’t already know about each other and I’m also planning to bring it up with my 5th grade groups, even though they have been together in the same class since 1st grade and I was their teacher last year.

I’m planning to do it as an introductory activity on the 5th grade website I am currently working on and was thinking about recording my 5 facts as a video. After viewing, the students will have a week to ask me questions and discuss their opinions via the comments section before I reveal the answers (they will then make a page or a recording on the site in the same manner).

But I thought I should test it out first and that’s where my PLN comes in. I’ve interacted with many of you through this blog, other blogs, Twitter and even in person at conferences in the past year but how well do you really know me? Can you work out what they two lies are? I invite your questions, discussion and speculation in the comments box!

And then I saw Brad Patterson’s recent post in which he mentioned a lack of blog challenges recently so I thought ‘why not?’ Here’s the challenge:
  • Post a video, audio recording or just a regular post on your blog in which you state 5 facts about yourself - 3 truths and 2 lies.
  • Invite your PLN to quiz you and speculate on what the lies are!
Any takers? Oh, yes! There were! The following fine folks have been cheeky enough to tell us a couple of lies: ;)

I have now revealed all in this post. Scroll to the bottom and you'll find links to the 'confessional' posts of all of the abıve as well. ;)


  1. No one took up my recent challenge... I guess that's what you get for not calling the post 'My blog challenge.'

    This is a classic activity for new classes and one I've probably used in every year of my teaching career, if not with every class.

  2. Probably because your photo was so damned good that there was no beating it! :)

    A classic activity indeed - let's see what surprises it brings out of our PLN.

  3. I'm not convinced about the stamp collecting and I don't think you are going to compete in the Marathon either.
    Definitely going to try 'telling lies, telling truth' next week in the new term.
    Fairly new to your blog Dave, but I like what I see.

  4. Thanks for taking part Adam.

    Not convinced by stamp collecting, eh? Most people never are. :p

    And as for the marathon, all that training, getting up early to run, fitness work, gruelling stamina building and people say it's a lie! I'll be there crossing the Bosphorus next month with everybody else!

  5. Btw Adam, I forgot to say I'v recently discovered your blog and like what I see too. I must confess though that I thought it was called 'Five Again Stone' before re-visiting and realing it is more likely to be 'Five Against One' :)

  6. Hi Dave,
    I reckon you probably did more than one job before you started teaching, but I'm not sure about the other one. Maybe I'll second Adam on the stamp collecting.
    Here's my contribution to your challenge:

  7. Hi Dave,

    Not sure what to think... I also do this activity in the first day of class once in a while, and when I do it I always choose to say very unusual things (or things people just can't picture me doing) that are true and something very ordinary to be the false one.

    So, I'm going to take the chance you think like me and choose the one thing I think is the easiest to be true about you to actually be my guess as the lie you slipped in there.

    You're not really running the marathon, are you? ;-)

    I will take up your challenge. When I do, I'll let you know.

  8. Love this challenge !

    I'm going to try to fit it in before I take off for China this saturday. I don't think you're stamp-collector either... and if you are, then you activated your voice in an odd way to throw us off the trail !

  9. Mmm, sometimes the most unlikely is the truth; I'll go for #1 & #2 as the lies!
    My response, Dave:
    Also, I suggested how the activity can be used in the CLIL classroom:

  10. Good to see some variation in the answers. Even better to see a couple of people taking up the challenge! Thanks Sandy and Chiew :)

    And looking forward to your 'facts' Cecilia and Brad.

  11. Hmm I think I'd have to go for stamp collecting and marathon running.....

  12. Another challenge! This is great. You are totally lying about the stamps. But, if you're not I'd be happy to send you a maple leaf. I doubt that you're going to run a marathon. You'd have to give up blogging!

    I've added mine to MyEC and hopefully the learners with webcams will do the same.

  13. I'm always hesitant to do this activity with classes because it is so classic. I think they've done it elsewhere before, but you're right; it is a great getting-to-know-you activity that can't be beat. So, here are my questions about your the ones I think are your 'lies'...

    Marathon -
    When exactly do you find time to train for a marathon when you teach full time and are doing your Masters?

    Gas attendant -
    I think this one is untrue, just because it seems so plausible and impossible to disprove no matter which question I ask. So, no questions. Accusation of lies though!

  14. Hope I'm not commenting twice ...

    Great challenge and very tricky! I think stamp collecting and doing the marathon aren't true???

    Here's my contribution to your challenge -

  15. Hi Dave!

    Here's my response to your challenge... It may have taken some time, but you knew I couldn't stay away from a good challenge ;-)


  16. Thanks for the further guesses, questions and contributions. :) Also, apologies for not answering them sooner but it's been a bit of a busy weekend (plus, I was buying time to think up some good 'explanations' :p).

    Tara - you obviously picked up on some quite clear signal when I mentioned stamp collecting! (Or maybe I cunningly threw you off... ;))

    Tyson - Finding time to prepare for the marathon is easy. I get up earlier than I did before for a morning run so I've replaced sleep with training! As for the gas attendant, as you say, perfectly plausible but do yout hink it was my only full-time job before teaching?

    Fiona and Cecilia - thanks for joining the challenge. I'm on my way to comment on your entries right now!

  17. Haha - preparing for a marathon is simply not that easy, especially since an average run in training would be about 3 hours minimum. Lie.

  18. Two cents worth added...

    Now, anyone up for a 10,000 word blog challenge? No, though not,

    but just in case...

  19. Tyson - who said I was preparing throughly? ;)

    Adam - Cheers for the entry. Just commented.

    I shall reveal all tomorrow!

  20. Hi Dave

    Not so easy to guess which ones are not true, but I think you haven't worked in a petrol station and you are not running in a marathon soon! I wonder if my guesses are accurate?

    Thanks for leaving comments on my reply to the challenge! It's really good fun reading everyone's contributions.

  21. Mark E Smith has been making music for 35 years without any discernible talent, so I wouldn't put it past anyone!

    I know a fellow former petrol station cashier when I see one... this one must be true!

  22. Hi Dave
    I've loved what you've started with this blog challenge, it's been terrific to find out more about the people in my PLN and to find out what good liars they are :-)

    I'm joining in a bit late, but here's my contribution:

    Cheers, Lesley @cioccas


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