teaching resource

Tattling vs Telling Sorting Activity

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 9 pages | Years: F - 3

Explore the differences between 'tattling' and 'telling' with this hands-on sorting activity.

Do Your Students Know the Difference Between Tattling and Telling?

Jason did not want to be Brittany’s partner, so he told the teacher Brittany wasn’t working, even though she was.

Toby saw Raj making fun of another student’s clothes, and told him to stop. When he didn’t, Toby told Mr Albert about it.

One of these scenarios is an example of tattling. The other is an example of telling. Do you know the difference? More importantly, do your students know the difference?

Better Manage Your Classroom By Minimising Unnecessary Tattling

Tattling is when you complain to an adult about something someone has done, or something that has happened. In the above scenario, Jason is tattling. He wants to get Brittany in trouble.  

Telling is when you inform an adult about something someone has done, or something that has happened. In the above scenario, Toby is telling. He wants to get help for a student who is being teased. 

This sorting activity has been developed by a team of experienced educators to assist you with your classroom management. Address these concepts with your students at the beginning of a new school year, or refresh your students during the school year if tattling becomes an issue in your classroom. 

The resource contains 24 scenario cards. Students are required to read the scenario, then decide whether it is an example of tattling or telling. An answer key is also provided. 

One Resource… Many Applications!

Use this sorting activity to enhance learning through whole-class lessons, group activities or independent work.

Whole-class Discussion

Display the sorting cards on your interactive whiteboard. Discuss as a class whether the scenario is an example of tattling or telling and why. 

Group Drama Activity

Divide the class into groups and provide each group with a scenario card. Have the students develop, rehearse and present a group roleplay that summarises the scenario, then ask the rest of the class to guess whether the scenario is an example of tattling or telling.

Independent Work

Encourage the students to add additional cards to the pack by writing another example of either tattling or telling. 

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or Google Slides version of this resource.

Print on thick card for added durability and longevity. Place all pieces in a folder or large envelope for easy access.

BLOG: How to Manage Tattling in the Classroom


This resource was created by Jennifer Hall, a Teach Starter collaborator.

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