PSHE KS2: 2. Larry the Lyrebird… or Is it ever ok to lie?

Download / print the transcript for the programme (pdf)

Larry is a lyrebird. He stretches the truth any way he can, from the telling of tall tales and jokes to dangerously misleading the animals of the rainforest as they prepare for their big show.

Before listening to the story, you could introduce students to the real lyrebirds which live in Australian rainforests and can imitate the sound of almost anything they hear. You can hear a real lyrebird here:

The episode is 15 minutes long and has three parts. You can listen straight through to the whole episode, or stop listening after each part to engage with the classroom activities and discussions.

You may wish to ask some of these questions after listening to each part of the story:

Part 1:

  • Do you agree with this statement: ‘A lie is something which is not true?’ Why? / Why not?
  • If we tell a fictional story - eg a fairytale - is that the same as ‘lying’? Why? / Why not?
  • The following are examples of things which are ‘not true’. Are they lies?
    Larry pretends to be a different animal to entertain his friends
    Larry tells Garry the Gorilla he can fly
    Larry tells a joke to make Kanga feel better

Part 2:

  • What do you think of the following examples from the story? Are these things lies? Are they wrong? Why? / Why not?
    Larry makes the sound of a chainsaw to scare off Chris Croc, who is the forest bully
    Larry tells the others a ‘tall tale’ about how he scared off Chris Croc
    Larry tells his friends Sally the slug, Stevie the snake and Lenny the lion that their acts are great when he doesn’t really think so.
  • Can a lie have good consequences? Can you lie with good intentions - eg you tell someone you like their new haircut when really you think it looks terrible? What is a ‘white lie’? Are white lies ok?

Part 3:

  • Larry promises never to lie again. Is he going to find this difficult? Why?/ Why not?
  • We do not know if Larry lies to Chris Croc about his singing at the end of the story. What should he do? What would you do and why?
  • What would happen if everyone in the forest was just like Larry and lied all the time?

Suggested activities

You could try:

  • Setting up a student debate. One half of the class argue the view that it is never acceptable to lie and the other argue that sometimes lying is justifiable because it makes people happy.
  • In small groups, re-enacting the scene in which Larry auditions his friends and lies to them about their skills. What would have happened if he had been honest?
  • Playing the game in which someone says three things about themselves, one of which is a lie. The rest of the group try to decide which. You could use this to stimulate discussion about how it feels to lie / whether or not you can tell if someone is not being truthful.
  • Asking students to write the story of Larry the Lyrebird from Chris Croc’s perspective.
'Just Think...' Teachers' Notes

More from this series

1. Sir Alvin and the Dragon... or What does it mean to be brave?
3. Dave’s cave… or What’s fair?
4. Automato tomato… or What is a good life?
5. Green Beard’s treasure… or why are we here?