Three Facts and a Fib

Three Facts and a Fib is a true-false statement assessment strategy that can be used to show what students know, don’t know and partly know about a topic or concept.

Simply ask students to write on a piece of paper four statements about the content the class has studied. Three of the statements should be categorically true and one should be false.

This can be done ‘flying solo’ but is better employed as a small group activity or in pairs. They should certainly be discussed together when they are used as a focus for active assessment.

When students begin to create the statements they begin to appreciate the complexities of an idea or a topic in more depth.

After recording 3 Facts and a Fib, students share their statements in pairs or small groups and try to determine which statement is false.

For example, write 4 detailed statements about a key word or maths concept­:

  • Equilateral triangles have 3 sides that are the same length
  • A trapezium has 3 acute angles
  • Opposite angles are equal
  • An acute angle is less than 90˚

Another way to play this game is to invent ‘Three Fibs and a Fact’. For example:

  • A reflex angle is between 90˚ and 180˚
  • A right-angle is the opposite of a left-angle
  • There are 180˚ in a straight line
  • Angles around a point add up to 360cm

If you wanted to vary it again then how about ‘Two Facts and Two Fibs’:

  • An isosceles triangle cannot have a right angle
  • An obtuse angle is between 90˚ and 180˚
  • It is impossible to have a quadrilateral with 2 right angles
  • The interior angles of a quadrilateral add up to 360˚

You can create Three Facts and a Fib (or variations) for virtually any part of the curriculum. If you are creating the statements yourself (as the teacher) then these can be ideas that you have heard learners discussing and any misconceptions they may have shared.

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