Students piece together a story while practicing grammar from the semester / year. Students read, write, listen, and speak in this activity.


  • Story - The ALT should write a 10 - 15 sentence long story. Try to include grammar that you want the students to review. My example story (attached) is intended for 3rd years after their first semester, so target grammars included passive, present perfect, makes (adjective-type ex. I make him angry), etc.
  • Cut up slips of paper
  • Worksheet for students to write completed story on
  • Tape
  • Dictionaries


  1. The ALT should write the story. Since I'm from Hawaii, I base my stories on Hawaiian mythology (heavily simplified), but I recommend basing your story on something from where you're from. Maybe there's an urban legend or story you can adapt for this activity. If it's a story that the students aren't familiar with, it can make it a little more interesting for them. It also provides an opportunity for them to learn more about where you're from.
  2. After writing the story, have the JTE check it. You don't want it to be too difficult for the students. Also, the JTE should be familiar with the story before starting the activity (I'll explain more in the How to Play).
  3. Make a worksheet for the students to write the completed story on (see the second page of my attachment for an example).
  4. Print the completed story and cut each sentence out individually.
  5. Cut out 10 - 15 slips of paper for each group (# depends on how many sentences are in your story).

How to Play

  1. Tape the sentences up around the room. I recommend putting them in the 4 corners. Obviously, mix the order of the sentences when you tape them up.
  2. Split the class into groups. I recommend groups of 4, but obviously, the number of students per group will vary depending on class size. Also hand out the slips of paper (save the worksheet for later). Split the slips of paper up evenly among the group members.
  3. Have one student from each group go to a different corner. They read one sentence (or as much as they can), then go back to their group and tell their group the sentence. The student can go back and forth as many times as they need. If you include words the students don't know yet, this may require multiple trips.
  4. One student must write the sentence on a slip of paper.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until they have all the sentences from that corner. Switch which student is going up to read sentences and repeat until the groups have all the sentences.
  6. While they're reading and writing the sentences, the other group members should be trying to figure out the meaning of the sentences and rearranging the slips of paper to put the sentences in order. For example, Group 1 has members A, B, C, and D. Member A goes to a corner and comes back to tell member B the sentences. While A and B are doing the reading and writing respectively, C and D are rearranging the sentences they have to construct the story. When Group 1 has all the sentences from one corner, the roles will swap based on who still has slips of paper left to write on.
  7. When the students have all the sentences and think they've successfully constructed the story, have them call the ALT over. The ALT will check the order of the sentences.
  8. If the order is correct, the students must then call the JTE over. Now, they must (quietly so other groups don't hear) tell the JTE the story, but in Japanese. This is why the JTE needs to be familiar with the story before the activity.
  9. Once the JTE confirms that the group understands the story, hand that group the worksheet. Now they must all write the completed story on their worksheet.

Other Recommendations

  • Like I said, try to make the story simple using grammar they know.
  • Feel free to include words they don't know, but don't put in too many. They have dictionaries, but you don't want them to need a dictionary for every sentence.
  • Walk around and check what sentences the students have written. Sometimes the reading student misreads a word or teaches how to spell it wrong. That can then prevent the students from completing the story, so check over the student's shoulders every once in a while.
  • If you're worried about overcrowding one area of the classroom, you can try hanging the sentences evenly spread around the classroom.


Pele (after 1st semester).docx

Total 0

Estimated time: 50 minutes (whole class period)

Submitted by: ThatOneALT

August 07, 2020


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