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ESL Icebreaker Games for Kindergarten: Story Circle


“Story Circle” is a captivating and creative ESL (English as a Second Language) icebreaker game, ideal for kindergarteners. It nurtures the art of storytelling and imagination in young learners, making it a unique and effective way to practice English.

This game encourages children to build a collective story, enhancing their language skills in a collaborative and fun environment.

ESL Icebreaker Games for Kindergarten Story Circle

Kindergarten Icebreaker – Story circle

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

How to Play

  • Game Setup: Arrange the children to sit in a circle so everyone can see and hear each other clearly.
  • Basic Rules: The teacher starts the story with a simple sentence. Then, each child in the circle adds a sentence to continue the narrative. The story can take unexpected and imaginative turns, depending on the children’s contributions.
  • Game Variations: To cater to different themes or language goals, the teacher can start the story with a sentence that guides the direction, such as something related to a recent lesson, a specific vocabulary set, or a certain grammatical structure.

Educational Benefits

  • Encourages Creative Thinking: Children use their imagination to add to the story, which helps in developing creative language use.
  • Enhances Narrative Skills: Building a story collectively helps children understand story structure and sequence, improving their ability to narrate and comprehend stories.
  • Practices Sentence Structure: Each contribution allows children to practice forming sentences, enhancing their grammar and syntax skills in English.
  • Promotes Listening and Speaking Skills: Listening to the ongoing story and adding to it requires attentive listening and clear speaking, crucial skills in language development.

Resources Needed

  • No Special Equipment Required: This game relies solely on the creativity and participation of the teacher and students.
  • Optional: Story Prompts: Visual aids or objects to spark ideas can be used, especially if the children need a bit of inspiration to get started.

Playtime Guidelines

  • Duration: A typical session can last around 15-20 minutes, making it a versatile activity that can fit into various parts of the school day.
  • Pace: The game should proceed at a comfortable pace, allowing each child time to think and articulate their part of the story.
  • Group Size: Ideal for small to medium-sized groups. For larger classes, consider breaking into smaller circles for a more manageable storytelling experience.

Adapting to Different Learning Levels

  • For Beginners: Start with very simple storylines and provide more guidance and prompts. Encourage basic sentence construction.
  • For More Advanced Learners: Introduce more complex story themes, encourage detailed additions, and focus on more advanced vocabulary and grammar.


“Story Circle” is an enchanting and educational game that combines the joy of storytelling with language learning. It offers kindergarteners a platform to express themselves, collaborate with peers, and develop language skills in an organic and enjoyable way.

This game exemplifies the principle that effective language learning for young children should engage their imagination and creativity, making “Story Circle” a cherished activity in any ESL kindergarten classroom.

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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