From ‘101 MORE Drama Games and Activities’

Age: 9 to adult
Players: Pairs
Time: 10-15 minutes
Skills: Storytelling, Speaking and Listening

Spice up your storytelling with random words

O ne person (A) is given one minute to tell ‘B’ an improvised story. At regular intervals ‘B’ calls out a random word that has nothing to do with the story. The storyteller must incorporate each word into the next sentence and is not allowed to ignore any words.

The exercise could go something like:

A: The other day I was walking through the supermarket when I suddenly dropped a bottle of fizzy juice.
B: Elephant.
A: The supermarket cleaner brought along his special elephant for sucking up all the mess.
B: Tornado.
A: Suddenly a tornado lifted the supermarket up into the air and I jumped onto the back of the elephant.
B: Glue.
A: A tube of glue flew past me and I managed to stick myself to the side of a tower block.

Of course the story may not make a lot of sense – but it is great fun and will help to spark a lot of ideas. It is a noisy exercise that will keep the storytellers on their toes as they try to keep going. After one minute swop over; you may need a bell or whistle to get everyone’s attention.

Repeat the exercise with the listener suggesting words that he or she thinks will help the story. Afterwards you can discuss which version was more enjoyable – the random word or the ‘logical’ word.

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