Speech Therapy Forum


Fib or Not?


Objectives     [back to top]

Receptive Language

Students will distinguish reality from fantasy given an oral description. 

Expressive Language

Students will tell/retell a familiar story by sequencing the story events.   Students will tell/retell a familiar story by organizing the story by its components: setting, problem, solution, and outcome.  Students will tell/retell a familiar story by sequencing the story events using sequential words:  first, next, then, last, before, after, finally.


Students will use fluency enhancing strategies at the discourse level.*

*Note:  Do not use the timer with your fluency students!


Product Description     [back to top]

Fib or Not? is an outrageously funny story telling game that will encourage your students to improve their narrative skills as they share interesting, and often very entertaining, experiences with each other.  The catch to this game is that stories can either be true or completely made up, hence the name:  Fib-or-Not? 

What makes this game so much fun for therapy is that as your students become more familiar with the game, not only do they improve their story telling skills but they also get better at fooling each other.  (My student Michael is the master of changing only one small detail in his stories.  He wins every time.)

If a student is telling the story, the objective of the game is to bamboozle the other players.  Either the real story is so outlandish that it sounds made-up, or the made-up story is so believable that it sounds real. (We all know that both of these variations are pretty tall orders for some of our language impaired students)

For the students who are listening to the story, the objective is to properly guess if the story teller is telling a tall tale or the real deal. Players advance by fooling the other players or by guessing correctly.

Fib or Not? contains a colorful game board, 132 "Tell a story about..." cards with a total of 396 subjects, 18 "Move forward" and "Move backward" cards and 6 "Tell any story" cards.  This game also includes 6 "Tongue-Tied!" (pass a turn) cards which I never use for therapy since I want all of my students to take a turn to talk!  This game also includes 6 colored game pawns with 24 colored “FIB” and “OR NOT” stickers to apply on matching colored voting pieces so that students can vote on whether or not the storyteller was telling the truth. • 12 colored voting pieces


Therapy in Action     [back to top]

Place pre-selected story cards (some topics are too mature for school-aged children so you will want to go through them before using them in therapy) on the CARDS space, Fib or Not? side up.

Each student selects a game pawn and matching colored voting pieces, and places their game pawn on START.



Then everyone selects a STORY CARD from the top of the story card deck...


If it is the first time to play this game with a group of students, I usually play, too, so that I can demonstrate all critical aspects needed for a good story. 

If I have students who struggle with story telling or who have difficulties with listening, I may put this student in charge of making sure that everyone else includes these aspects in their stories.  By giving students a “job”, this also helps to keep them more actively involved in therapy.  For example, one student might be listening to make sure the story teller includes Who? Where? and When? in his story whereas another might be listening for proper use of sequencing words.  If I have students who are working on complex sentence structures, I may even require that a certain number of cohesive devices (words like before, eventually, or since) be used in their stories.

Students read the story card subjects silently to themselves and think of the story they are going to tell before it becomes their turn.

Either I model the process of storytelling or choose the student with the best language skills in the group to go first.


How to Play     [back to top]

1. Picking story cards

Students pick a story card from the top of the deck at the start of the game and after each turn. This allows time between turns for them to prepare their thoughts on either the real story or the made-up story they are going to tell. They can either select any one of the three story subjects from the story card for their story or you can choose their topic for them.

2. Have the story teller read the subject card and secretly commit

As each student takes a turn being the story teller, she reads the subject out loud to the other players. (I use this game a lot in fluency therapy since skills often break down at the discourse level.)

The storyteller then secretly commits to telling either a fib or a real story by placing the "FIB" or "OR NOT" voting piece question mark (?) side up anywhere on the game board.

3. Tell the story

The storyteller starts the timer and has up to one minute to tell their story. (The only time I use the timer is when I have students who have a hard time answering questions succinctly.)  The storyteller indicates the end of their story by questioning "IS IT A FIB . . . OR NOT?"

If students forget to ask this question, they move backward one space.  The first student to catch someone forgetting to ask this question gets to move forward one space.

4. Players secretly vote

All other players then guess if the story is a FIB or NOT by secretly voting with either their "FIB" or their "OR NOT" voting piece.

Students put their selected voting piece on the "VOTE HERE" sign, question mark (?) side up so the other players can't see how they've voted.  No discussions are allowed until after the truth is revealed.

5. Votes are revealed

When all votes are in the storyteller turns over their voting piece to reveal whether their story was a “FIB”…. “OR NOT”.  Story elaboration and questioning are then encouraged.

Next, the storyteller turns over the voting pieces of the other players to determine who advances.  If the story teller has fooled someone, the storyteller moves forward one.  If the listener has not been fooled, the listener moves forward one. 

6. Advance

The storyteller moves forward one space for every player who voted incorrectly. Fool all players and move forward one additional bonus space. Other players move forward one space if they voted correctly.

Tasha Tip!   If you only have 30 minutes for your session, you may use a dice with this game to speed it up.

7. Pick another story card and change turns

The storyteller returns the story card to the bottom of the card deck and immediately selects another card for his next turn. The player to the left of the last storyteller becomes the next storyteller, and so on.


Tips for Winning this Game     [back to top]

We all know that some of our students are better story tellers than others.  Here are some tips to help your students tell better real stories or weave tall tales.  (Don’t be surprised if all of the first stories your students tell are true!)

1. Encourage them to use their time between turns:

After each turn, students will have the opportunity to select new story cards. Encourage them to use their time wisely between turns to gather their thoughts and think of the next story they're going to tell. Remember, they only have a minute or two, so their stories doesn't have to be long and involved…at least not at first.

2. Encourage them to draw upon experiences of others:

Their stories don't have to be something that they personally experienced. They can tell stories that friends, family or acquaintances have experienced. Or, they can draw upon something that they've read about or seen on TV.

3. Encourage them to daydream…though not in class!

Encourage them to use their creativity and imagination, and dream while they're awake. Have them try to picture themselves in various situations, at certain times and places with people they know...have them tell each other their versions of the same topic.  If they are really having a hard time with visualization, try having them draw about the topic first and tell about it next.


If they are making up a story, make sure they add names of people they know, dates, and specific locations. More detail helps to add credibility to a story.

Also, people communicate both verbally and through body language. So, encourage them to be confident in the delivery of their stories. The rest of the players will be sure to know they're bluffing if they fumble with their words.

Most importantly, remind them to relax and have fun with the game - everyone is there to improve their speech and/or language skills.   


To make a story sound less believable, encourage your students to be vague on people, places, and dates. Also, looking less confident in the delivery of the story gives the appearance it’s being made up.

With these simple tips, students should now be well prepared to bamboozle their fellow Fib or Not? players.


Other Guidelines     [back to top]

Players can use less than the allotted one minute to tell their story. The group may even decide not to use the timer, and instead, “police” long-winded storytellers themselves.

Telling a story and only changing the context of who experienced it does not make a valid fib. Changing a minor detail of a real story does not make a valid fib either.

To count as a real story, nothing in the story can be a fib.

If a player picks a "Move forward" or a "Move backward" card, then they immediately move their game pawn as indicated and pick another card until they select a "Tell a story about..." card.

Players can use their "Tongue-Tied!" card to pass a turn and pick another card. To redeem your "Tongue-Tied!" card, insert it on the bottom of the deck along with your story card. Then select a new story card for your next turn.

Otherwise, players cannot pass their turn or pick another story card because they cannot think of a story to tell. If a player cannot think of a true story then they must make one up.

If a player picks a "Tongue Tied!" card from the deck, then they immediately pick another card until they select a "Tell a story about..." card.

And one last guideline, no fibbing about whether or not you're fibbing … or your nose will grow.


Fib or Not? is one of my all time favorite games for speech-language therapy.  I hope you have as much fun playing it with your students as I have with mine! 


Where to Buy >>>  www.amazon.com/fibornot


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About the Author
Speech Therapy
Voice Disorders
Phonological Disorders
Language Therapy
Asking/Answering Questions
Story Telling
Problem Solving
Critical Listening
Word Finding
Cause & Effect
Predicting Outcomes
Comparing & Contrasting
Following & Giving Directions