Folded Stories

Students use who what where and why to write a story.

Submitted by Tohokuteach

April 30, 2022

Estimated time: 20 minutes

(taken from iteslj)
You've probably read variations of this activity to draw pictures, but you can also use the same structure to practice question words and past tense or future tense.

  1. Demonstrate the activity.
  2. Write "who, what, where, when, why" on separate lines on the board. These are the questions the students will answer.
  3. Choose a person (your name, the JTE's name, or a popular character works well) this is "who". Write their name at the top of your piece of paper and demonstrate folding it over so the name is hidden.
  4. Pass your paper to the JTE and ask them to choose an action (to encourage creativity, choose something wacky). This is "what". Get your JTE to write the action on the paper and fold again.
  5. Repeat, choosing a place (where) a time (when) and a reason (why) (if possible, ask students to give you answers)
  6. Read your story out to the class. It should be something like this:
    "Mr Honda made omurice at Daiso last year because he is boring."

  7. Give each student a blank sheet of paper and let them try themselves :)

  8. Set a timer for each fold so lazy students don't forget to write. Depending on their genkiness and English level, this should be around 3-5 minutes.

  9. After the students have passed their paper 4 times, try to get volunteers to read out their wonderful creations.

- Remind students they have dictionaries to look up weird and fun new words, but be prepared to help with reading if there is a lot of new vocab being used.
- If you're using this to practice future or past tense, tell your students that the what and the why have to be in past/future tense.

  • UonumaRobert May 2, 2022

    Nice idea. I’m curious. Is iteslj an active site? I tried checking it out but it wouldn’t open.

  • Tohokuteach May 2, 2022

    yeah... it seems like iteslj is inactive now, it was last updated in 2005 or so which is too bad, the activities were general efl stuff but with a few adjustments they'd work well in Japan too.

  • UonumaRobert May 3, 2022

    Oh well. Hopefully over the years most of their stuff has made it onto other sites.

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