Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Domino story - Practising the past simple

Use a domino story to get Entry 2 ESOL students ready for their writing exam. A domino story is one which require little planning and is very student centred. In this post I explain where I found the original idea and how I adapted it to suit my learners.

I found this great idea on in their English as a 2nd language area. The post - by John Baker MAed TESL - describes how to deliver a collaborative writing activity followed by a domino story. You can read the original article here.

I did the collaborative writing activity and I will write about it in another post if I find the time but I was really inspired by the domino story and want to share that with you...

I found the activity to be very easy to prepare as most of the content comes from the students - the gist of it is that you get appoximately 16 students into 3 groups (a,b and c).

Within those groups you can put them in pairs and get them to complete the gap-fill activity / read their part of the story. You can find the gap-fill and pictures drawn by the different groups at

The groups then make pictures that they will use to retell the story to the other groups.

A pair from group a then goes with a pair from group b and group c.

One student from another group writes as the pair from group a tell the first part of the story, another student (from   group b) tells the middle part of the story and so on. Eventually the a,b,c group has the full story. 

The interactive nature of the activity promotes speaking in the past and collaboration between students with different skills - I found it to embrace different learning styles, to pronote the artistic and academic skills of students and to give the tutor the opportunity to observe and make notes.


Please leave a comment if you find this post useful or interesting!!

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