My 10-year-old son had an interesting homework assignment today: create a “bubble map” with the theme of truth. He and his classmates worked together to research that topic, and then each student made a map at home.
The bubble at the center of the map has that word inside it, and it branches in different directions. Here’s what the bubbles say, in my son’s exact words:
- “That which is true.” — student dictionary
- “The body of real events or facts.” — Webster’s dictionary
- “Sincerity in action, character and utterance.” — Webster’s collegiate dictionary
- If you tell the truth, you are being honest.
- If you confess to something, that can be truth.
- If you don’t tell the truth, you will be in trouble.
- If you don’t tell the truth, you could be killed.
- Or you could be put in jail.
- Truth is different from different points of view.
- I could say that he hit me first.
- That’s my truth.
As a journalist, I like this assignment on two levels: first, as an exercise in alternative storytelling; second, as an examination of truth, one of the core values of our profession.