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15 warmers and fillers for true/false tasks (for children & adults)

Reading and listening texts with True/False tasks are one of the easiest ways to get students involved in a reception skills lesson as the students can often try to guess whether the statements in the book are true or false before and then read or listen to the text to check. This both makes it […]

Reading and listening texts with True/False tasks are one of the easiest ways to get students involved in a reception skills lesson as the students can often try to guess whether the statements in the book are true or false before and then read or listen to the text to check. This both makes it easier for them to understand the text because they have thought about the same topic for a while and seen some of the vocabulary in the True/False statements, and makes them more interested in hearing the text to check their own ideas.

Before getting to the stage of looking at the True/False statements and guessing, however, students will still need some warming up. Luckily, there are many fun warm up games connected to the True/False tasks they will then go onto do. All of the tasks below can also be adapted to revise the language of previous lessons and/ or be used after the reading or listening task as a filler or warmer for the next stage. Click on any of the 15 points to see more details. Because of the games are based on the simple format of only two answers being possible, these ideas are also good general warmers for any kind of low level class.

1. My hands never lie
Students hide a small object like an eraser in their right hand if they are going to say something true and in their left hand if they are going to say something false, and then make their statement (e.g. “My father worked in a circus”) and see if their partner can guess which hand the object is in, i.e. whether their statement is true or not. You can specify the topic and/ or grammar they should use to tie in with the text if you like.

2. The TL game
Give out 6 small pieces of scrap paper to each student. Each student must write an “L” for “lie” on 3 of their pieces of paper and “T” for “true” on the other 3. They make a statement while laying one of their pieces of paper face down on the table (if the letter written on it can be seen through the back of the paper, they’ll need to hide it under a book). If their partner thinks it is false, they can call their bluff by saying “Liar!” If it was indeed a lie, the person who laid the card down takes that card back, and any other cards still on the table from previous rounds. If it was in fact true, the person who made the accusation has to take the card or cards on the table and add them to their own pack. If no accusation is made (people should say nothing if they think the sentence is true), the card(s) stay there for the next round(s). The first person with no cards left in their hand is the winner.

3. True False Target Practice
Students have to listen to the sentences and throw something (e.g. a screwed up piece of paper) at the target marked “True” or the target marked “False” as quickly as possible. The first student or team to hit the correct target gets a point. This works best if you have a couple of sticky balls (= sucker balls) and divide the whiteboard into two halves.

4. True False Stations
This game is like True False Target Practice, but students race to touch the place marked with “true” or “false” first rather than throwing things. The slowest student either doesn’t get a point or has to sit down until there is only one person left standing and the next round starts.

5. True False Stand Up Sit Down
This game is like True False Stations, but students have to stand up for “true” (or stay standing up if the previous sentence was true too) and sit down (or stay sitting down) for false. You can also play the game with other (possibly sillier) actions like touching parts of your body or standing on your left or right leg.

6. True/ false Brainstorm
Teams write or say as many true or false sentences about one person or thing (e.g. the teacher) in 5 minutes as they can. This could also be organised as a board race, with one team writing true sentences on the left side of the board and the other team writing false sentences on the right side. Click here for more details of board races and other whiteboard and blackboard games.

7. Make me say yes, make me say no
This is similar to True/False Brainstorm, but with the students working in pairs and trying to make a mix of true and false sentences. Give 6 pieces of blank paper to each student and get them to write F for “false” on between one and five of the cards and T for “true” on the others. They then have to make sentences about their partner, who will tell them if that thing is true or false. If the person who made the sentence has the same card in their hand as the response of their partner (e.g. their partner said that the sentence they made about them was true and they are holding a “T” card), they can discard that card, and play passes to the next person. The first person holding no cards is the winner.

8. Find which story isn’t true
One student tells the other students in their group or class two true stories about him or herself and one false story. The other students can then ask questions about the details of those stories to try and guess which one is not true. The student who told the stories can continue lying about the untrue story when they answer the questions, so their partners just have to guess from which story sounds unlikely or pauses when they are answering the questions.

9. What’s my Line?
One person writes the same true sentence about themselves on 3 different slips of paper, e.g. “I have a pony” three times. The teacher takes in two of the pieces of paper from each person, shuffles them and deals them out so that three different people have each of the sentences and each person has three different sentences, one of which they wrote themselves. One of the people in class reads out one of the sentences they are holding (either the sentence they wrote or one of the ones someone else wrote that they were given by the teacher), and the other two people who have the same sentence put up their hands and read it out too. All the other members of class then ask those three people questions to try and guess who is telling the truth (the two people who didn’t write that sentence can keep on lying when asked questions to try and convince the class that they are telling the truth).

10. TF betting
Get students to bet on whether a statement is true or not, putting more money on it if they are sure about it. Double the money of the people who guessed correctly. You can make the game easier to understand and more fun by getting students to place toy money or plastic chips on pieces of paper marked “True” and “False” on the table- something like a roulette table in a casino.

11. Stop me when you think I’m lying
Read out or dictate a sentence or story slowly to the class. As soon as someone thinks what you are saying is false they should shout “False!” and you should stop reading and write their name or team name on the board. Finish the sentence, and give or take away points from that person when you go through the answers. If no one thinks the sentence is false, everyone should stay quiet until you finish reading it out in order to not lose points. You can also play the same game where students can call out “True” as well/ instead.

12. TF substitutions
One person in the class or group makes a true sentence about him or herself, e.g. “I like bananas”. The next person then changes one word in that sentence to make a slightly different (but still grammatically correct) sentence, e.g. “We like bananas”, “I like strawberries” or “I dislike bananas”. The other people in the group or class then have to judge if that sentence is grammatically correct, and then guess if it is true about the person who said it. The person who made the changed sentence gets one point for every person they fooled (i.e. every person who guessed incorrectly if it was true or false), but only if their sentence was grammatically correct.

13. Is that true?
Students take one card from a pack of cards with different words or pictures on each card, and make a sentence with that word or about the thing in the picture. The other students then have to guess if that sentence is true or false.

14. Yes to everything
The students have to reply yes to every Yes/ No question they are asked, e.g. “Yes, I have” to every “Have you ever..?” question- including “Have you ever jumped out of a plane?” etc. They then answer 3 follow up Wh- question about it, and the other students then guess whether the original “Yes” answer was true or false.

15. This answer is true
This game is very similar to Yes to Everything, but this time they have to answer each Yes/ No question with the answer on the card they take from the top of the pack, e.g. they have to answer “No, I can’t” to “Can you walk?” if they pick up a “No” card. The other students then ask follow up Wh- questions (e.g. “Why can’t you walk?”) and guess if the original answer was true or false. This game can also be played by tossing a coin (heads= answer “Yes” and tails = answer “No”) instead of taking a card.

Written by Alex Case for TEFL.net February 2008
Alex Case is the author of TEFLtastic.

One Comment

  • mohammed says:

    i really love this stuff in my class because they enlighten the class mood and get my students motivated
    thanks…..

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TEFL.net : ESL Lesson Plans : Classroom Ideas : Fillers and Warmers : 15 warmers and fillers for true/false tasks (for children & adults)