General Resources --Scroll down to see "Reading" and "Writing" Resources-- > Getting to Know You Activities

Get them talking and LYING!

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eunice:
Among the many "getting-to-know-you" activities that I've participated in so far, I liked "two truths and one lie". This is a game where everyone has to think of two truths and one lie about themselves. Students will take turns in presenting the three things they've thought of to the rest of the class, and others will have to guess which one is the lie. Obviously, this game would work best when you have a small number of people in your class. I liked this game, because it gives you a chance to know all sorts of quirks and experiences of your classmates.

Another one that I liked is also a lying game >:D. I'm not entirely sure what it is called but I remember calling it the "couch game".
You ask the students to write one strange fact about themselves or an outlandish experience they've had on a piece of paper. You ask them to write their names on it and put it in a bowl and mix it up. The teacher picks one piece of paper and reads it out aloud without telling the students who it is. Then s/he asks three people (the person who wrote it and two others picked at random) to come out to the front and elaborate on this fact/experience. That is, the real person would be telling the truth and two others will have to make something up and pretend it's their own story. The rest of the class needs to guess to whom the story really belongs.
This activity might take up the whole class, but it is a lot of fun!

soohyun:
I played this game in my ESL 507 and it really was fun!
However, it might not be a good icebreaker if there are no one in the group
who are willing to share embarrasing stories or interesting facts to the rest  ::)

smgramley:
I also did this activity with my ESL class, but we did it at a social activity outside of class time.  Once they got the idea, they seemed to enjoy it!

katwu:
I did the "two truth and one lie" activity in my ESL500 (Oral and Written Communication at the graduate level) class. It worked really well! The students enjoyed making up "false facts" about themselves. However, the problem is, I think the students didn't really get to interact with each other more in depth. The class in now in its the fourth week, and most of them still don't know each others name :?don'tknow

I love the idea about the "lying game"! I'm going to try this in class next time!

juvalracelis:
I think that this is a great activity to do with low level ESL students as well.  I've often given writing prompts to lower level students (like write a letter to a friend in your home country) and tell them that this is just practice so they can "make up" whatever they want.  Well they end up being overly truthful and I end up feeling like I'm reading a diary! 

I think that this activity helps them understand there's some flexibility in the truth when it comes to practice!

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