Number one for English language teachers

Grammar activities: Chain story

Level: Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper intermediate, Advanced Type: Extra

This activity can be used for practising conditionals, though its different variations can serve for reviewing vocabulary as well. It helps students to link sentences in one text.

I usually use this activity with intermediate students, though it may also work with lower-level students. Students enjoy it as it usually results in a funny story which puts them in a good mood for the rest of the lesson.

Procedure

  • Put on the board the sentence 'If we have free time, we’ll go to the party.' and explain that the students are going to make a story one by one using this same structure (If we ..., we'll ...). The catch is that every student needs to use the second part of the phrase said by a previous student as the first part of his/hers.

Student 1: If we have free time, we’ll go to the party.
Student 2: If we go to the party, we’ll have fun.
Student 3: If we have fun, we’ll come home late.
Student 4: If we come home late, we’ll miss our test tomorrow. etc.

Variation 2

  • For revising vocabulary, make cards with the vocabulary words you need to revise, one word or expression on each card.
  • Put the cards face down on the desk in the center. A student who starts draws the first card and says the first sentence, the next student draws the card and says the second sentence, and so on.
  • Students are telling a story, using only one sentence each with one word at a time, trying to make the story go smoothly. (You may ask them to use a certain structure if you wish).

Tip: If the class is big, divide it into two teams and make them create their stories simultaneously, taking turns. It will be more fun if both teams have the same beginning.

Variation 3

Instead of (or in addition to) distributing cards with vocabulary items on them, give students the cards with different conjunctions and linking words: and, as soon as, while, but, although, though, however, etc. The students need to tell a story by adding their sentence with the help of the conjunction written on the card. In this activity they are allowed to change the grammar structure of the previous sentence.

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