Two Truths and a Lie

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38 thoughts on “Two Truths and a Lie”

  1. ^ awesome ^ I’m using this. Brilliant idea.

    I’ll add one thing: I’ll also put plural (“we”) verbforms on board so kids can say “My friends/cousins/family and I _____ over Xmas” or whatever.

    1. …so then, you get reps on I/you forms, and we/you guys and they forms, depending on what they write and how you circle.

      E.g. A kid says “my cousin and I went to Disneyland.”
      T says “did you go to D?”
      S: yes I went to D

      T: did you and your cousin go to D?
      S: yes, we did
      T: did you and your cousin, or you and Selena Gómez go to D? Etc, circle away

      What a great idea.

      1. Very great idea! And Chris, I agree. I always fail to get many reps out of I/you. I noticed yesterday I was able to get more. I’m going to start putting students in the King/Queen spot more during PQA because I think it will help me make sure I use I/you more. How does everyone make sure they get reps out of “we?” I noticed on the timed writes I had yesterday students were really wanting to use “we.” I haven’t taught it yet…shame on me but honestly it’s because I haven’t figured out a clever way of including we in stories. Any suggestions?

  2. So great to “read” your voice, Sabrina! Brilliant idea. I was just working with my French 4s and what I have discovered that they know blew me away. I told them it was the difference between driving a Mercedes and a Yugo! Really, with very little direct grammar explanation they were giving me French sentences using words I thought they did not know. A lot of these kids have gone from zero French in French 1 to a pretty amazing grasp of the language. Good to remember when I think I have not done enough with them. When I ask the question, which sentence sounds right, they always pick the right one. It is just the kind of activity that Sabrina suggests that will get the kids to this level – reps. I know Sabrina thinks they need many more than we may think. Thank you for sharing! I am not surprised that you are making your mark in Colorado – they are blessed to have you. See you this summer, I hope!

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Sabrina! This is a great activity. Adding the bringing forward of a student (making them a short-term actor, in effect) is nice – I will add that next time.

    1. Jeffery Brickler

      I wanted to add something that I did that helped me get the reps up today on those sentence frames.

      I collected the papers and instead of putting someone in a special chair, I told the students that we would first try to guess who it was and then what their lie is. This allowed me to get a ton more reps on 1st person and 3rd person forms.

      I read their statements aloud in the 1st person so that they could hear it. Then I asked, Who did x or y. They kids guessed. I then turned to the person and used the 2nd person form. Sometimes, that student who wasn’t the right one would say yes to the statement because he/she actually did that activity. Then I asked him/her the next thing until we figured out it was/wasn’t him/her. This kept going until we found the student. It could have taken guessing 4-5 students with all those reps before we found the correct person. It was great and with every wrong answer the excitement built. I got tons of reps on lots of forms.

      Then after we established who wrote the paper, I then asked the students which one was the lie. I read the statements again. They picked one and I asked the student if it was true, all the while repeating the statement with different verb endings. The student would then say yes/no and I would ask the students to guess again. This process would keep going until we finally determined what the lie was.

      I did have more than two statements for each kid, but only one like. This really helped me get easy reps and the time flew by. The kids were really focused. I give it two thumbs up.

    1. Yes, the special chair is really great. It really adds something special. I now call the activity “Special Chair” when I tell students what we’re going to do. Somehow these younger students (4th-8th) focus much better when there’s a real person in front of them that we’re talking about. More or less I do story-asking in simple form (more like One Word Images than a story).

  4. Love this and am planning to use with my adults tonight. Great way to use that tense (ha! I don’t even remember what it’s called!) i have danced, have eaten, etc…Rather than what they did specifically over a certain time, they’ll write down things they have done in general. so we’ll get lots of reps on “he bailado …” “ha bailado”… etc… Gracias!

  5. I just used this activity with my 8th graders this morning (first two blocks of the day after Thanksgiving break). The kids really appreciated the activity and i was able to sneak in a ton of reps of some really high frequency verb forms. I forgot the step of having them guess with their fingers which answer was a lie, so I ended up inviting too much English into the activity. I have 2nd shot with my 7th graders today to include that aspect. Thank you so much for creating my new post vacation go-to activity!

  6. This a great idea -I am going to use it when I return on January 5th! Thank you Sabrina! And thank you to the others for the modifications/variations on the two truths and a lie idea.

    1. You’re welcome Don!

      I wish I had more time to comment on the blog as it is always so nice and refreshing to hear all the great teachers’ voices and ideas.

      I’m so happy you can use this. I still use it myself. I do this or a variation of this once a month on a Monday with all my levels. The key is to not do it too often as with any other CI activity you do or it gets boring to them.

      I have mixed levels (1-2 combined and 3-4 combined). This is a great way to practice all kinds of verbs in past tense (mostly all high frequency verbs) and it is very compelling because it comes from the kids since they supply the info.

      For my French 3-4 , I spice it up a little. I ask and write on the board with translation first although now they don’t need it anymore:

      “What did you want to do that you did” (Qu’est-ce que tu voulais faire, que tu as fait”:-)))) and

      “What did you want to do that you didn’t do” : “Qu’est-ce que tu voulais faire que tu n’as pas fait” :-(((.

      I still ask for 2 truths and a lie.

      By now, my French 3-4 totally hear, recognize and sometimes use correctly imperfect versus passé composé. They don’t know it of course but I do, and it makes me smile and chuckle…

      Happy New Year to all my PLC friends and colleagues!

  7. Yes Michele! I was going to “just” do sentence frames, but I this sounds more exciting with the guessing!

    Not sure if the lie part will be do hard for level 1, because it could potentially bring even more new vocab., but I’ll see how it goes with level 2 first.

  8. I did this today and was blown away not by the Russian but by the fact that one student who has been a reluctant learner wanted to be the first interviewed, and then requested that he get interviewed a second time so that we could capture it on video for his mother…

  9. This is a fantastic activity that can be adapted to so many situations. It worked so well in all my classes after the holiday vacation.

    I put a list of verb choices on the board for them to use. They could write in English. Then I followed Sabrina’s superb choreography with some added questioning for each student to extend it as much as I could. It went so well and took several days. They didn’t lose interest at all. A couple of kids didn’t want to take a turn, and that was fine.

    As a follow up I wrote them all up as a reading. In 7th and 8th grades, I printed it off for the kids to read individually and circle the lie in each. I also had it projected on the SmartBoard. Then they took turns correcting one lie out loud (it didn’t have to be their own), which usually meant changing a sentence from positive to negative. I typed it into the projected text as they said it. It was really relaxed with some helpful chiming in, so no one felt on the spot. It was good practice making negatives in the past tense.

  10. Good move on creating a reading from Sabrina’s activity. In my opinion once we have presented auditory input in any form, not just stories, we should write it up. Julie’s PQA should be written up. We write up everything. It gives more reps, allows more connections between the hearing and reading parts of the brain, builds confidence, turns them into readers. Remember that at least under Diana’s leadership in DPS we have come to think of CI as over 50% reading.

    1. I agree. I sort of fell into doing that from the beginning as something to always be able to fall back on when I didn’t know what else to do. I started with readings of the CWB info for each kid, then mini-stories, MovieTalks, La vedette du jour (which is my version of the Special Person thing people do), anything and everything, whenever I have the time.
      Sometimes I just write sentences on the board to read right at the time when it’s just a short little thing. Kids could dictate those to me, too. I know people have mentioned that before.

  11. Matthew DuBroy

    This was great! I used this coming back from our Easter break. I just have lower level classes and so after one period I adapted it in the next and did it in groups of three. This means each student only had to write one Latin sentence. If I just had them write in English it would be too hard for me to switch it into Latin on the fly with the vocab. So I went around and helped everyone get one good Latin sentence about what they did. Groups had to decide who was going to give the false statement. Then I had the group of three get up. I had them read their sentence (which was in the first person of course). I repeated to them (2nd person) and then told the class (3rd person). I’ve been struggling to get the first and 2nd person in during the stories with the actors and this was an easy way to do it. And they absolutely loved it. I had the kids (this was 6th grade) get up and stand at a certain part of the room if you thought the first was false or the 2nd, etc.

    Today I’m thinking it wouldn’t be too much harder to begin asking them if they liked what they did, etc. I’ve struggled with PQA but this seems like a great way into that for me.

      1. Matthew DuBroy

        Today I finished the activity with them and I got the chance to ask them why they loved it.

        The first thing was they enjoyed hearing what the other students did over break.
        The second was they loved moving around the room. One of my best/nicest students said something like “I love acting it out [she meant moving around the room]. No offense to you, but it is hard to just sit here and listen the whole time.” She went on about missing TPR because of course they got to move around the room with all the different commands.
        The third was that they enjoyed the opportunity to guess at what was false – so the I assume the game element of it.

        In response to Ben below then it seems to me one of the biggest things to teach these young kids is to think about how to get more of them up and about as part of the CI activity and without losing control of them (since – even more than normal – when they leave their seat they get a little more free-spirited because don’t feel like they are in a classroom setting).

        1. Absolutely what I found when teaching that age. It must be CI, but they prefer it to “feel like” movement, games, acting (sometimes), drawing (sometimes), and getting attention. So teachers need to design ways to make sure the kids get attention in doing something that increases their comprehension of language and therefore fluency.

          1. Matthew DuBroy

            Do you have any particular ideas that you have used? Or can you direct me elsewhere on this blog to where some might be? I’ve appreciated your contributions on this blog Diane and would love to hear how you have mixed movement with CI (and still kept it relatively heavy CI).

          2. Check out what Catharina has written in the Forum — do you know how to get into the Forum? It’s a separate sign-in. This is a really great list:


            Also the articles categorized as “Elementary”:

            The biggest things I learned: take high school ideas and simplify them radically. Add some way students can move during the activity (if only to draw, or to point, or to throw something). Then make them last 10-20 minutes tops, then switch to something else. I planned with 15 to 20 minute blocks of activity in mind — might get 2 of those done in a 45-minute class. Having a chart of choices based on step of TPRS really, really helped me.

          3. Matthew DuBroy

            I did know about the forum but haven’t had much of a chance to go through it! Thanks for the links. There is so much to learn that learning this process is practically a full-time job in itself.

            I’m going to need to diversify my activities. I’ve for the most part stuck to one activity in a 45 min class. I have found some of the activities hard with my lack of fluency in Latin (which has been greatly improving!), but I’m getting more comfortable with what I’m doing that I think I can branch out more.

        2. Hey Matthew! If you can speak in the TL to students as they are up and moving around in the classroom, kudos to you my friend! Maybe some day I’ll get there.

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