Students write chain stories with a limited amount of time. After the writing session, each student takes a turn reading a tale out loud.
Learner Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Time: 10-20 minutes
Materials: paper and pens
Grouping: Whole class
1. Tell students you are going to write short stories together. Each time you say “switch” the students have to pass their paper one to the left. Give students about 1 minute to write a sentence. (Encourage more advanced students to use dialogue.)
2. Read these instructions out loud. Each student should only write one sentence at a time before passing the paper.
a) First sentence: Use Once Upon a Time to introduce the main character. (pass the paper)
b) Second sentence: Introduce the setting. (pass the paper)
c) Third sentence: Introduce a conflict. (pass the paper)
d) Fourth sentence: Introduce another character. (pass the paper)
e) FIfth sentence: Make the conflict bigger. (pass the paper)
f) Sixth sentence: Make the conflict even bigger. (pass the paper)
g) Seventh sentence: Start to resolve the conflict. (pass the paper)
h) Eight sentence: Fully resolve the conflict. (pass the paper)
i) Ninth sentence: End the story.
3. After the stories are written, have students read the stories out loud. Which story is the best? What makes it a good story?
Student 1: Once upon a time there was a boy named Scott.
Student 2: Scott was walking through a dark forest.
Student 3: Suddenly Scott tripped on a pothole and broke his leg.
Student 4: A monkey jumped on Scott’s back and said hello.
Student 5: “Ah, a talking monkey,” screamed Scott.
Student 6: The monkey screamed back and stole the boys house keys.
Student 1: Then Scott’s dad arrived with a water gun.
Student 2: “I’ll soak you if you don’t hand over the keys,” said Scott’s dad.
Student 3: “Come and get them and I’ll give you a banana,” said the monkey from the top of the tree.
Teacher 2 Teacher:
If your students like this exercise, adapt the warm up by having them fold the paper over each time they write a sentence. This makes the reading out loud part more interesting.(WARNING: Stories may not make sense. You may want to change the title of the Warm Up to Silly Tales.)