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Random Stories‏‎

Surreal picture meant to spark the imagination.Random Stories is a good activity for letting your students use their imagination and exercising all the skills.

Preparation

Cut out a large selection of random, unrelated objects from magazines. It’s a good idea to make flashcards out of these so you can build up a collection and use them again.

Make sure you have enough so that each group in your class (of, say, 3 students) can have 5 or 6.

Run the Activity

Choose 3 random cards from the pile on the desk and show the class. Make sure they all understand what the object is called in English. Then invite suggestions on how the objects might be related.

  • a banana
  • an electric lawnmower
  • a dog lead

Try and get really imaginative ideas going and encourage the students to be inventive.

  1. A mad professor decided to invent a way to chop up bananas so he turned the lawnmower upside down and set it going. Then he tried to chop up the banana by putting it into the blades but he nearly chopped his fingers off. So then he clipped the dog lead onto the banana and carefully lowered it into the lawnmower and chopped it up.
  2. My wife told me I had to mow the lawn and take the dog for a walk. So I tied the lawnmower to the dog. Put the lead on the dog and took him for a walk round the garden. I led the dog, the dog followed me, the lawnmower followed the dog and cut the lawn. And as a reward I gave the dog a banana.

Once the class has the idea divide them into small groups. Each group then gets to choose 3 or so cards at random from the pile. Then they have 5 minutes of so to come up with a short stories connecting the items. The best story wins!

Variations on a Theme

  • If you prefer and have the space, rather than use flashcards you can use actual objects themselves. This makes the skits more realistic.
  • Get the groups to act out their stories rather than just tell them.
Image © h.koppdelaney

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