Chain-story is a story that is collectively written by a group of authors. The story is passed along from student to student, each adding a paragraph with the rule that each part should be coherent and follow the plotline of preceding sections. eNotes
Chain Stories in Class
- Divide the class in groups of 6-7 students, and seat them circles.
- Dictate the first sentence, and ask students to continue writing the story by using the target language you have given them (i.e. some of the target vocabulary or a grammar item they have just learned).
- Tell them they have five minutes to continue the story.
- When the time is over, tell students to pass their stories to the person sitting on their right.
- This time they have to read what their peer has written, and then continue the story.
- Repeat the steps until students have created a one-page story.
- As a final step, discuss which story is the best and give the winners a prize.
Variation 1: Using an Object
Follow the same steps as above. Instead of dictating a sentence, this time you could ask each member of the groups to pick out one object from their bag. Then have students (in groups) create a story using the object(s) chosen.
Variation 2: Using Wikispaces
- First, create a page at Wikispaces which is a free online wiki hosting. It has great features such as .. It is a fantastic tool that also promotes sharing and building information collaboratively. Please have a look at one of the award-winning educational wikis on Wikispaces created by Arjana Blazic, which can give you a greater idea on how to effectively use a wiki with your class.
- So once you have created a wiki on Wikispaces, follow the same steps as above.
- Give each student a role and assign each of them with a target language (i.e. a grammar structure, or vocabulary).
As this will require some thinking time, assigning a group assignment on Wikispaces will allow students to use their time more freely and effectively.
Variaiton3: Online Chain stories
If you teach young learners, you may ask students to use online ChainStory instead.
Variaiton 4: 15 Words Rule Chin-Story
- First, seat students in a big circle.
- Choose a title of the story with your class.
- Ask one student to begin the story. Tell students that they have to use minimum 15 words to tell the story.
- The next person picks up the story thread and continues it, and so on until the story comes to a resolution. Instead of doing this with the whole class, students could do the same within smaller groups and record it and post it to your class Wikispace. You can also see a sample here.
Variation 5: Text Messaging
- Start by text messaging the first part of an if-clause, for example, ‘If I were rich…’ to one of your students.
- That student then has to complete the sentence ( If I were rich, I would buy a jet plane),and forward the text message to another student in class. That student then has to use the second part as the first clause and complete it (If I had a jet plane, I would…), and so on.