33 Writing Prompts about Lying

People, even school aged children, can tell when they’re being lied to.

So, when it’s something small, like a student telling another that they aren’t having a birthday party, even though they are and that student isn’t invited, feelings are still going to be hurt.

That impact, however, most students don’t notice until years down the road. So, they need to be opened up to understanding how lying impacts other people and themselves. 

How to Use These Prompts

These prompts on lying are a great way to teach a class about a moral issue, and open up your student’s thoughts on honesty. Because of this, there are a few different approaches that you may want to take with these prompts.

The first is as part of a one-day unit. This would take up a portion of a day to focus on these prompts and honesty as a whole.

They could also be done, using less class time in a given day, but for a longer stretch of time on the calendar. For instance, using one prompt a week would help to keep students thinking about lying over the course of the entire school year. 

There are two basic ways to approach the prompts.

They can either be done as a writing prompt that students keep to themselves, and use to self-reflect.

The other is as a group, where students come together to discuss their answers, which opens them up to new ideas on the topic. Either way, the goal is to make them think deeper about lying. 

The Prompts on Lying:

Here are the 33 prompts:

  1. What is a lie?
  2. What is a white lie? Is it different from a lie?
  3. Do you want to be called a liar? Why or why not?
  4. Is it easier to lie or tell the truth? Why?
  5. Why is it so difficult to remember lies?
  6. Is it a lie if you said you would do something, tried to do it, but failed? Why or why not?
  7. What does it mean to be misleading? Is this different from lying?
  8. Can a statistic be misleading? If so, how?
  9. What is the worst lie you ever told? What happened?
  10. How do you feel when you tell a lie?
  11. How does it feel to be lied to?
  12. How often do you lie? Why?
  13. Is it ever ok to lie? Why or why not?
  14. Think about characters from books, TV, and movies who have lied. Did it work out for them? Why or why not?
  15. Are lying and cheating similar in any way? How so?
  16. What makes it difficult to be honest?
  17. Do you feel better after telling the truth or getting away with a lie? Why?
  18. Is keeping a secret the same as a lie? Why or why not?
  19. Would it be better to lie to someone, or tell them the truth that might upset them? Why?
  20. Is leaving out extra information the same as lying? Why or why not?
  21. There is a crime called perjury, which makes it illegal to lie in court. Why is this law important?
  22. One of the rights granted by the fifth amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the right against self-incrimination. In other words, you don’t have to admit to committing a crime. Is this the same as lying? Why is this right important?
  23. What does it mean to be honest?
  24. How can the reputation of being a liar hurt you?
  25. What does it mean to be a person of your word? Why does that matter?
  26. Why does telling the truth seem more difficult than telling a lie? What is more difficult in the long-term?
  27. Why might honesty be the best policy?
  28. Are there people in your life that you don’t trust? Why?
  29. How does someone lying to you change your opinion of them? 
  30. Do companies and people lie in their advertisements? Why would they do that?
  31. James Altucher said, “Honesty is the fastest way to prevent a mistake from turning into a failure.” What did he mean by this? 
  32. What would the world be like if everyone always told the truth?
  33. What would the world be like if no one ever told the truth?

Looking for More Information?

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