Storytelling (practicing active listening and storytelling skills)


Visual tools like cards of any type, dice with symbols, a range of pictures, photos etc. will be needed. When not available, ask students to make the range of visual material themselves. Any type of themes, scenes and symbols allowed. Sand watch or timer for time limitation.

Purpose of use

This exercise is useful to train class members’ active listening and storytelling skills. It may be applied on purpose during informal activities.

How to implement

Cards or any other visual material is shared among all participants. In case of dice with symbols used, each participant can through the same dice before his turn. The first starts his story of any kind. It is possible to agree in advance the genre of story, like comedy, horror or drama. Or leave it for improvisation. The first storyteller can start any story in the way he likes, even from its end. But the word he says must reflect the visual tool he uses (card, symbol).  He talks as much as he wants, or time limitation may be applied (sand watch, or any timer). The second storyteller shows to others his visual tool (picture or symbol) and continues the story in his own manner, but following genre, visual tool and timing. Teacher is recommended to become one of the storytellers too.

The end is due to the last storyteller in the row. When finished, teacher must start reflection activities. He may ask the following questions to anybody from the participants of specific student:

What was the most difficult during the exercise – to listen, or to tell the story? Why?

What was special about listening to many people in the row?

Whose story was very easy to remember for me. Why?

What is the real advantage of this exercise?

How will I use this experience in the future?