Chain Stories (8 Versions)

Chain Stories

Great for recycling targeted vocabulary, practicing speaking and listening skills.

Version 1

1. Participants receive blank slips, look through their notes/book for the last few lessons and write one word per card.

2. Collect the cards and redistribute (it doesn’t matter if they get their own cards back or not).  Give a few minutes for them to double check meanings using their phones/dictionaries/notes or the trainer.

3. Trainer also participates and should begin the chain story. For example:  Jeremy didn’t go to work yesterday because he had THE FLU.  The speaker then lays down the card.

4. The next person (going in a circle) adds to the story.  It must relate to the part of the story already told.

5. The activity ends when all the cards are finished.

Note:  The trainer may need to help with some meanings, or better yet, other participants help.  If the word is not used correctly or there is a grammar mistake, encourage the speaker to correct themselves, then ask for help from others and finally help them.  If some words occur more than once, that is totally fine.  More recycling!

Version 2

Instead of going in a circle, allow them to speak in the order they want.  The “winner” is the first person to lay down all their cards.  Allow only one card to be laid per turn.

Version 3

Allow more than one card to be laid per turn.

Version 4

Instead of distributing the cards, lay them all on the table face up and have them take one card per turn (going in a circle).  The game ends when all the cards are out of the middle.

Version 5

As in Version 4, but allow them to take turns in any order they wish.  The “winner” is the one with the MOST cards at the end.  Allow only one card per turn.

Version 6

As in Version 5 but allow several cards to be taken per turn.

Version 7

As in Version 5 or 6 but allow them to also STEAL cards that have already been used from other players!  Even more recycling takes place.

Version 8

As in Version 4, but place the cards FACE DOWN!

I often use the circular turn-taking version with groups that need more support and the other versions with stronger groups.  I repeat this exercise about once a month with a different version so it stays fun and lively with the group.


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