True or False About My Peers

Contributor: Carolyn Samuel, PhD, McGill University,

Ingredients: paper/pen/pencil/laptop/tablet – all optional

Method: Each participant thinks of or writes down three sentences about him/herself. Two of the sentences should be true and one of the sentences should be false, but the false sentence should be plausible. In turns, participants say or read their sentences aloud and the group votes with a show of hands which sentence is false.

Special Notes: This recipe can work as an icebreaker at the beginning of a session, but I find it more effective for fostering collegiality if it’s used intermittently throughout a long workshop or course. Once participants know each other a little bit, they’re often more invested in learning something new about their peers. With students, I’ve frequently used this activity as preparation for oral class presentations. Throughout the week before the presentations, students take turns presenting their true/false sentences so that they can experience the feeling of standing and speaking before their peers. The experience usually reduces public speaking anxiety while generating a lot of surprise and laughter.

Acknowledgements: Unknown origin

References: None

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