Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lie of the Day

    With the end of the week, it was time to let the students know what was in store for them the remainder of the school year; I proceeded to tell them “the lying and deceptions I have subjected you to over the last 4 days will continue the rest of the semester starting Monday”. The students seemed relieved it wasn’t happening today. So, I introduced the students to the “lie of the day” much like the article (My Favorite Liar,; I figured if I don’t do lie every day it won’t have the impact and students would stop looking for it. I, also, adopted some other practices from the article and decided to make the lie an assignment if not found by the end of the period and used a few of the professors ideas to get started as well (as you will read below). Where I want go to further is I want the students to point out the lie and, later on, require them to find the correct answer and cite it from the material to prove me wrong. Additionally, the lie could be from the reading in the book, paperwork, quizzes, something online etc.. but I explained “ I will not lie to you on a test or if you ask about criteria on a rubric.” I continued, “If you don’t find my lie during the class period it will become your homework to identify the lie. Also, since it is homework it might be graded!”

     Over the course of the next week I did as I said I would do and lie to them once a day. The class would identify the lie and I would point out why it was a lie and we would move on. So, Friday had come at this point they are getting good at finding my lies, so it was time to up the ante and really disguise this one. They came into class and we started with a reading quiz, did a map, discussed the reading, did some group work, but at no time did a student stop me and point out my lie (wow I’m really getting good at this). With the end of the period my students asked, “Did you lie today?” and I responded, “Yes I did and no one caught it! So as part of your homework this weekend find my lie.”

     The weekend had come and gone and judgment day had arrived. Did the class find my lie? I had a couple of students think they knew, but their theories were quickly shot down. After the first couple of students, fewer and fewer raised their hand to answer, until the entire discussion had shut down completely, which is what I had hoped for ultimately (Perfect!). So, I posed the question again, “What did I lie about on Friday? After a long pause I announced, “Nothing! Everything we discussed on Friday was true and no one figured it out! I lied about lying.. You’re welcome!” Since I lied about something from the content the previous 4 days they assumed it would be a content lie every day, and with a magicians sleight of hand they had been duped again!


All is not what it seems. If you are not sure read a store flier during the holiday shopping season, if you ever want to see a sleight of hand buy one of the advertised items that is "on sale".

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