Students guess which news stories are true and which one is fictional.


Age group: adults

Level: Intermediate - advanced

Skills: Speaking and reading

Time: 15 - 20 minutes


  • Select unusual stories from the news and give each student (or pair) a short article. One of the stories will not have actually occured in the news - you will need to write this.  
  • The students read their articles to the rest of the class.
  • When every student has read his/her news item, I ask the class to discuss which story isn't true.
  • To make this activity funny and challenging it is important to select stories that are unbelievable.

Here are a few examples that have proven to be funny and entertaining.

  • The WHO has decided to spend more money on the treatment of snake bites and scorpion stings
  • A couple in England has to face trial because of smoking in their home
  • Two doctors had a serious fight during an operation. The first one hit his colleague and pulled his ear. The second one hit him back. The outcome of this was: one broken arm, bruises and a concussion. Meanwhile another doctor finished the operation.

The success of this activity depends on the stories selected.

This is also a good opportunity to, if you wish, discuss the subject of 'fake' news and how students can ensure the stories they are reading (particularly online) come from a reputable source.