Reading Time: < 1 minutes


Number of Participants: At least 3, any age

Materials needed: Creativity!

What is made possible: Great warm-up activity, teaches improvisation & thinking on your feet, and basic story structures.

Time required: 3-10 minutes (depending on # of participants)


  1. Students will be telling a story together one sentence at a time.
  2. The story needs to introduce clear characters, a setting, and a beginning, middle, and end.
  3. Characters cannot die in the story! Also, no violence or inappropriate content.
  4. The facilitator will start with “Once upon a time…” and then call on a participant!
  5. That person will first strike their best author or storyteller pose, and then add ONE sentence to the story, then that person call on someone else. Remember, only ONE sentence at a time!
  6. The story will continue until everyone has gone.
  7. The story must come to a resolution by the last person, so keep track!
  8. Once everyone has gone, the facilitator¬† will end the story by saying “the end!”
  9. The activity can be repeated as many times as you like. Each person can also go twice in one round, making the story longer.

We adapted a version of this activity from a wonderful Middle school teacher and dear friend of Hanna's named Will Pharis.