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ESL Icebreaker Game “The Story Continues”

“The Story Continues” is an inventive and interactive classroom activity tailored for language learning, particularly beneficial in second language acquisition contexts.

This game stands out due to its simplicity and the creative autonomy it offers to students.

It’s a multifaceted exercise that not only enlivens the classroom but also greatly enhances language competencies.

In this extended exploration, we delve deeper into the gameplay mechanics, the educational benefits, necessary resources, and adaptation strategies for different learner levels.

adult esl icebreakers the story cointinues

ESL Icebreaker – The Story Continues…

We have loads of icebreaker games here on the site for all ages, you can check out the full list for adults on the link directly below but we also have icebreakers for kindergarten, primary and high school here which you can check out as well.

(Of course you can adapt all of them for your classrooms and students as needed)

How To Play The Story Continues

The structure of “The Story Continues” is straightforward yet effective. The activity starts with either the instructor or a student introducing an opening sentence.

This sentence should be intriguing yet open-ended, setting the stage for varied potential developments.

Subsequently, each student in the class contributes one sentence to advance the narrative.

The order of participation can be either pre-determined, like following the seating arrangement, or randomized as per the instructor’s discretion.

As the story unfolds, it is up to each participant to use their imagination any way they wish, often resulting in unexpected and amusing outcomes.

The narrative can be steered towards a conclusion or left open for continuation in future sessions, depending on the class’s interest and engagement levels.

Educational Benefits

  1. Cultivating Creative Thinking: The game prompts students to think creatively and express their thoughts in the target language, enhancing their imaginative skills.
  2. Practicing Sentence Structure and Grammar: Constructing sentences for the story helps students apply grammatical rules and sentence structures in real-time, reinforcing their understanding and usage.
  3. Exploring Tenses: The evolving nature of the story naturally incorporates various tenses, providing practical exposure and practice in their application.
  4. Fostering Collaboration: The collective nature of the game instills a sense of teamwork, making each student’s contribution vital for the story’s progression.
  5. Enhancing Quick Thinking: The need to immediately come up with a sentence aids in developing students’ ability to think and respond swiftly in the target language.
  6. Experiencing the Power of Collective Storytelling: The game is a live demonstration of how different minds can collaboratively create an engaging and coherent narrative.

Resources Needed

The beauty of “The Story Continues” lies in its minimal resource requirement. The primary resource is the students themselves, along with their imagination and willingness to participate. However, for a more structured approach, the following can be used:

  • A whiteboard or a digital board for writing down the story. This helps students keep track of the narrative and aids visual learners.
  • Prompt cards with potential opening sentences or story ideas to ignite imagination, particularly useful for lower-level learners or to overcome initial hesitation.

Differentiation for Varied Learner Levels

Adapting “The Story Continues” to accommodate different levels of language proficiency is key to its success in a diverse classroom.

  • Beginner Level: For beginners, use simpler opening sentences and provide a list of vocabulary or phrases they might use. You can also allow them to prepare their sentences in advance. The focus should be on building confidence in sentence construction and basic storytelling.
  • Intermediate Level: At this stage, introduce complexity in the storylines and encourage the use of varied sentence structures and tenses. Prompt students to build on previous sentences, fostering a more cohesive and intricate narrative.
  • Advanced Level: For advanced learners, introduce challenges like incorporating specific vocabulary, idioms, or grammatical structures. Encourage them to add depth and detail to their contributions, focusing on nuanced language use and more sophisticated storytelling techniques.


In sum, “The Story Continues” is not merely a language game; it’s an essential educational tool that transforms the language learning experience.

It facilitates an immersive, imaginative, and collaborative environment, essential for effective language acquisition.

This game mixes the blend of enjoyment and efficacy in learning, making it an indispensable part of any language educator’s repertoire.

I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

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