Previously I shared how to set up simple one card and then two card storytelling. If you haven’t seen that post check it out first before moving onto 5 card storytelling.

Basically this version is quite simple for the students once the one card and two card versions have been completed. In the past I have gone straight to 5 card storytelling with mixed results. The scaffolding provided by the one card and two cards versions has proven, in my experience, to lead to stronger stories once students get to the 5 card version.

Simply provide the students with 5 random cards and tell them: “Create a story using the images of these 5 cards as inspiration.” And off they go. I provide you with two videos of students in process: one which does not involve the teacher, the other with a teacher in a coaching role. Then I provide a few videos of sample stories. After viewing the student presentations I know where I’m going to go next in improving this activity: I want to work toward students looking at the audience and developing storytelling skills: using gestures, tone of voice, intonation, eye contact, etc., to communicate even more clearly the stories.

If you don’t have storytelling cards or if you want to integrate technology into this activity, I just discovered “5 card flicker stories”. They provide the images and some directions. Here’s the link, courtesy of my friends at English Language Teaching Think Tank:

Here is the original post on the ELT think tank website that references the 5 card flicker stories. I encourage you to subscribe and participate with this groups webpage.

The final videos represent a natural progression: taking the stories that the students created and dramatizing them. So you can see the sequence for this English Language Teaching and Drama approach—from one sentence descriptions of a visual “seed”, a storytelling card, to connecting two cards into a short narrative, to connecting five different images into a complete story to a final presentation of a dramatization of their story. The language generated during this sequence is amazing and can lead to many, many extensions.


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