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Intended Learning Outcome:

To encourage group interaction in a creative activity online


You could use this as a learning activity or a wait-time activity. You ask students to collaborate on writing a short story based on a given opening sentence. As a learning activity, you could be asking students to create a scenario which incorporates some key elements of the learning they have done in the module. For example, in Event Management, you could ask the students to work in five things which would show an event was badly planned. As a wait-time activity it can just be for fun.

You could also run this as a lyric-writing exercise.


Put the opening sentence into the group chat on Zoom and encourage students to add their own sentence. You will

need to ask people to say when they have a sentence to contribute as many people could write at the same time and

the story will become confused. For the activity to work participants will need it follow the Yes, And rules (by accepting

that the previous sentence is true and adding to it rather than contradicting it).


Here are some opening sentences you may want to use:

• The smoke machine whirred into action

• A high, piercing sound echoes around the auditorium

• I didn’t mean to do it

• The lights went out all around me

• A blast of cold air hit my face

• My footsteps creaked as I slowly moved forwards

• The adrenalin in my body was doing overtime

• “What have you done?” they shrieked at me

• The sea of faces all looked on the edge of tears

• This was going to be the best day of my life

• Am I in heaven? It certainly felt like it

• The phone rang. This could be the news I was waiting for

• I heard the music as I entered the room, but all I could see was a single violin

• “Won’t you please, please help me?”




Large Group Teaching:

If you are running this as a learning activity rather than a wait-time one you may want to put students into breakout rooms.


Online Teaching:


Students will be engaged in the activity, interacting with each other and having fun.

Next Steps:

As a learning activity, you could analyse the story for accuracy of information and talk about possible solutions to the scenarios created. You could also spend some time talking about grammar and writing styles – comparing the work to other styles and discussing how they are different (e.g. story-telling vs academic writing).

Links to other activities:

Further reading:



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