In a circle, the story is started, with each person in turn adding one word. It usually starts with ‘Once – upon – a – time’. The idea is to keep your thoughts free flowing, so that you don’t try to guess what is coming or force the story in a particular direction. It is not always easy to maintain a logical flow for the story, although it is always amusing. If the group is too large, break into smaller groups.

  • Another variation is to throw or roll a ball around the circle in any order.
  • Add your word as you pass the ball to the next person.
  • This ensures that people are more attentive; although you should make sure everyone is included.

Try playing the game in pairs, where both participants act the story out as it is told. In this case, tell the story in the present tense and as ‘we’. For example, ‘We – are – climbing – a – mountain. – Look – a – giant -spider – coming – towards – us. Quick – run!’ You can soon create an adventure story in this way. You can also use the one word at a time technique to create characters made up of two or more people – great fun for interview scenes!


Learning Objectives: To encourage creativity
To develop listening and storytelling skills
To cooperate in group work
Age Group: 7+
Participants: Whole group, small groups or pairs
Recommended time for activity: 10 minutes