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Story chains are simple ways to keep students telling a story. Start a story and then students keep adding lines to continue. They can even be done with only words, students relating words to other words through association.

One higher level example is using the Zen story about the lucky farmer. Start by telling the story like this –

There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“Maybe,” replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer.

Then, ask students to continue the story in the same vein with something happening and then “maybe” as the answer.

Story Chains, 4.8 out of 5 based on 5 ratings

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