Things You Can Do With an Interactive Story

  1. The simplest and most obvious way to use an interactive story is to put students in pairs and get them to read it to each other like this:

    Student A: There was a man.
    Student B: Uh-huh
    Student A: He went in to a café.
    Student B: Uh-huh.
    Student A: Was it crowded?
    Student B: Yes, it was.
    Student A: He ordered a drink.
    Student B: Uh-huh.
    Student A: Was it a latte?
    Student B: What does “latte” mean?
    Student A: I don't know. EXCUSE ME! What does “latte” mean?
    Teacher: It is a type of milky coffee.
    Student A: I see. Thanks. Was it a latte?
    Student B: Yes, it is.
    Student A: Uh-uh! That's wrong. You should say: “Yes it WAS.”
    Student B: I see. Yes, it was.

  2. The class can read it to each other in larger groups of three or more with all listeners saying 'uh-huh' and in the event of a question, the storyteller nominates one person to answer. Some classes like to work in larger groups.
  3. The class can read it as a group, one person at a time reading one sentence at a time and getting each other's attention by establishing eye contact. Many students do not realize the importance of eye contact as a linguistic signal and how to use it.
  4. The class can read the text silently to themselves, underlining the target patterns for that episode.
  5. The whole class can read the story to the teacher and the teacher acknowledges it and answers the questions, sometimes elaborating on aspects of the story and turning the questions back on the students and asking them to ask each other various things as topics come up in the course of the narrative.
  6. The students can copy the story out turning the questions into sentences and including them in the text and also expanding on the story at will.
  7. The students can role play various situations that come up in the story.
  8. The class can (in pairs or groups) try to re-tell the story to each other from memory.
  9. The class can re-write the story from memory perhaps modifying it and elaborating on it.
  10. The class can discuss aspects of the story and issues that come up; what they would do in that situation, whether they like a particular character and why, etc.
  11. The students can redo the story turning all the patterns into past forms. Be careful. This is complex. Make sure you have read through and understood how to do it yourself before getting the students to do it.
  12. Most importantly, encourage your students to relax and have fun!