A few weeks ago I needed an activity to work on story structure with some of my students. Not finding what I needed on the internet, I decided I would make my own!

For these students we were working on a “complete episode” story. That is a story that has a beginning, middle, and conclusion. It needs to have clear characters, setting (the place the story is happening), and at least one “event”, or thing that happens.

Example of a complete episode:

Ginger the dog went to the dog park. She ran and played with the other dogs, and got all dirty. Then she went home and had a bath.

Characters: Ginger, other dogs
Setting: dog park
Events: went to the dog park, got dirty
Conclusion: went home and had a bath


I made up a game with cards for character, setting, and event. Character cards had names of characters, setting cards had places, and event cards had things that could happen. There were also several blank cards of each kind, for students to make up their own character, setting, or event. Each student also got one Conclusion card, which is where they decide how the story ends. The goal was to tell your own story.

Each student starts with one of each kind of card. On your turn you spin a spinner which can land on character, setting, or event. You draw a card from the designated pile, OR you can chose to swap that element with someone else in the game if they have something you want.  At the end of each turn you have to tell the story that is on your board. Since all of the elements are mix-and-match, we ended up with some pretty funny stories!

(Sorry about the photo being sideways… I can’t figure out how to get it right side up!)