Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Half-Truths and Brazen Lies: An Honest Look at Lying

Vermond, Kira (Author)
Hanmer, Clayton (Illustrator)
Owlkids 2016. 48 pages
First published: 2016
ISBN: 9781771471466 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

multimodal, point of view, recurring patterns

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This excellent book tells the truth about untruths, challenging common beliefs while raising important ethical questions. In the introduction, readers learn that lying may be much more common than we realize. “One study found that six out of every ten people lied at least once during a ten-minute conversation. Most of them didn’t even realize they were doing it!”

Using informal language and a friendly, non-judgmental tone, the author teases out the moral nuances of this universal tendency. She untangles untruthfulness, distinguishing truly destructive deceptions from those less toxic—and occasionally even well-intentioned. “Would you lie to protect a friend?” reads a sidebar question, inviting readers to ponder a moral grey zone.

Dishing out fascinating facts, this book studies lying from all angles, showing how attitudes toward dishonesty can even be culturally specific. “For instance, South Koreans believe strongly in kibun, or saving face and keeping harmony in relationships.” Fibs of all heights and stripes are defined and laid out for review, allowing readers to make informed moral choices. Everything from lies of omission to cheating, stealing and plagiarism are covered, breaking down a complex subject into bite-size bits of well-organized information.

Humorous, cartoonish drawings help keep the tone light while addressing practical—and modern—concerns, such as “Lies online,” “Video-game cheats” and “Airbrushed fibs.” An index at the back, along with a bibliography, make this an indispensable resource.

  •  

    Make a class anchor chart to start to define truth and lies.

  •  

    Think of a time you lied. Was it for a good reason or to get away with something? In your reader-writer’s notebook, describe the lie, how you felt about it and how others felt about you once it was found out (if it was).

  •  

    Choose and dramatize one of the stories. Use props and costumes to liven things up. At the end of your skit, present some facts about lying that both inform and empower the audience.

  •  

    Play a Spot the Lie game. In random order, share three statements about yourself (two true, one false) with a group. Listeners must determine which statement is false and explain what signs gave it away. Use hints from Chapter 4 (“Spot the Liar”) to help with lie detection.

  •  

    What are truths and lies? Brainstorm what you know about truth and lies. Use a Venn diagram to clarify these two concepts.

  •  

    Brainstorm reasons that people lie. As you read, review your ideas.

  •  

    As you read, create a mind map of vocabulary related to truth and lies: white lie, omission, fraud, urban legend, etc. Find ways of organizing these words to help you remember their meaning.

  •  

    Play a Spot the Lie game. In random order, share three statements about yourself (two true, one false) with a group. Listeners must determine which statement is false and explain what signs gave it away. Use hints from Chapter 4 (“Spot the Liar”) to help with lie detection.

  •  

    With a partner, brainstorm acceptable versus unacceptable lies. Organize your ideas in a T-chart. Discuss your answers as a class.

  •  

    What did you learn about cultural differences with respect to lying? Make and post sentence strips with statements that outline these differences.

  •  

    Find an example of a lie that has been posted on social media with the intent to hurt or take advantage of people. Use a graphic organizer of your choice to demonstrate the consequences of such a lie. Display these on the class walls. Walk around and discuss the selected lies.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Ethics and Religious Culture