Arrange the participants in groups of 3 – 7 for this story-telling exercise. Make up a negative story title that is age-appropriate for the group. One person in each group starts by making up the first part of the story. After a few sentences, or when they become “stuck”, they turn to the next person in their group and say “I forget the rest – your turn.” The next person picks up the storyline and continues the story until they want to pass it off as the first person did. Allow time for all groups to complete their story. Now give them a positive story title and ask them to do the same thing.
To process the activity, ask these or similar questions:
- Was it difficult to pick up a story where somebody else left it?
- Do you think it would have been easier or more difficult if you were limited to adding only 1 sentence?
- Which one was easier to do – the positive or the negative story?
- Did anyone’s negative story have a positive ending?
- Did you feel compelled to make the negative title a negative story and the positive title a positive story?
- Did you feel compelled to continue the story the way the first person started it or free to take it anywhere?
- Were the stories cohesive, even though there were multiple authors?
Final thought: In a community, it is important to recognize and appreciate the contributions of others.