Author: Deb Bullock | Published on 2 January 2024


Read what a teacher says about this activity:

I use this activity to practise different grammar, but also to encourage my learners to be creative and have fun writing. Sometimes the final stories are really funny. My learners like it because they write together, not alone. And they really like listening to other groups’ stories and choosing the best.

Stage 1: Introduce

Say: 'Let’s play a writing game'. Write on the board (on separate lines): 

     If I have time, 

     I’ll go to the market. 

     If I go to the market, 



Ask: 'What can I write here, on this line? Be creative.' Elicit many different ideas, e.g. I’ll buy a cow; I’ll spend all my money; I’ll buy some nice food. Write one of these ideas on the line. 

Put learners in groups of 5 or 6. Say: 'You each need a piece of paper and a pen.'

Stage 2: Write

Write on the board: If I find some money in the street,  

Say: 'Everybody copy this part of the sentence. Then fold over the top of your paper. (Wait) Ready? Now write the end of the sentence on the next line. Make it interesting and don’t show anyone. Hide your paper.' Check all learners are doing this correctly.

Say: 'Now pass your paper to the person on your left (check). Read it and start a new sentence with your friend’s idea: If …. (point to the board). Now fold it over and then write the next line. Don’t show anyone.' Check all learners are doing this correctly.   

Repeat 4 times more or until each learner has their own paper again. 

Stage 3: Read

Say: 'Unfold your story and read it to your group. Decide which is best.' Monitor and give feedback on language use.


Use the activity to practise other grammar, e.g. past simple and continuous, 2nd conditional, linking words, e.g. first, then, next, finally.  

Use with different subjects, e.g. to describe the life cycle of a plant or a process.

Use to review: learners write a question about something they don’t understand. The next learner tries to answer and writes a new question. At the end the learners discuss the questions and answers together. 

Stage 5: Extend and share

Ask each group to read their ‘best’ story to the class. The class votes on the best, the most creative or the funniest class story. 

When you have used this activity a few times, you will think of other language you can practise. And your learners will become more creative with their ideas.