Mystery Person

Thinking & Engaging
Thinking & Engaging
Friends & Mentors
Friends & Mentors

Participants pay attention to told stories and body language to help them discern true stories from the fake ones.  


  • Pieces of paper
  • Pens
  • Hat or bucket


A version of Two Truths and Lie that a large group of people can get in on and offers a chance to learn something new about our mentors and peers.


  1. Divide your group of children and youth into smaller groups of about five participants and have them sit on the floor or on chairs near their group members.
  2. Assemble a panel of volunteers or staff, 3-6 depending on the size of your group or however long you wish each round to be.
  3. Distribute pieces to volunteers/staff and have each of them write down 3 (or more) different things about them or experiences they’ve had. The stories should be anonymous and each volunteer/staff should keep these stories a secret from another.
  4. Collect the pieces of paper and place them in the hat.
  5. Situate the volunteers/staff in a side-by-side line, on chairs, facing the groups of children or youth.
  6. Assign each member of the panel a number. They will now be known here on out as “Mystery Person Number     .”
  7. To begin the first round, randomly select a piece of paper from the hat and read the story aloud, preceding with, “This mystery person once…”
  8. Call out the number of a mystery person and have them tell the story associated with the piece of paper. Have all remaining mystery people share their story.
  9. The catch: any story written on a piece of paper was written down by one person and therefore only belongs to that person, however, each member of the panel must tell a story. So, if the story does not belong to that person, they must tell a lie.
  10. After each mystery person has shared, give your children and youth a few minutes to discern, within their group, which mystery person they think the story belongs to. Go around and collect the guesses from the groups.
  11. Reconvene to announce the mystery person. Say, “Will the real Mystery Person please stand up,” at which point the person to who the story belonged to should stand and the others should remain seated. it’s also super fun to add some tension by having all the mystery people stand and sit a few times for a few moments, then finally revealing the real mystery person.
  12. Any team that that made a correct guess, earns a point.
  13. Play as many rounds as you like.


  • Do your best to assemble a panel of mystery people who are great storytellers and improvisors. 
  • If your group is particularly small or they are older, you could have participants play individually instead of within groups.
  • If your group is particularly good at storytelling, consider assembling a panel of mystery people from the program participants.
  • Showing evidence helps to improve the validity of the told story, regardless of whether it was told in truth or lie.


  • Mystery people should be telling stories which are appropriate to the age of the participant group and overall should omit stories with themes of violence, drugs, alcohol, or sex.


  • What strategies did you use to discern the truth-teller from the liars?
  • Did the truth-teller do something different from the liars that gave them away?

Obtained from: