People Interested in Zippy and ZAny Zcribbling

PIZZAZ has been an Online Resource since 1995 from Leslie Opp-Beckman
For Scribblers and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)


Description for Chain Stories: Students co-author stories in three parts with a beginning, middle and end.

ESOL student level:
These activities scale well to beginner through advanced level proficiency and can be used with all ages.

For more activities:
Return to PIZZAZ!


  1. Set the Stage: You can base stories on a class experience, or pre-select a theme (e.g. mystery, false fable, soap opera, etc.). Story starters, such as those from BogglesWorld Creative Writing Prompts, can also be useful for helping writers get started.

  2. Set up the authoring teams. Divide the class into pairs (if using a story starter) or groups of three (if students are creating their own beginnings).

  3. Everyone writes Part A, if the beginning of the story is needed, and gives it to another person in the group.

  4. Everyone writes Part B, the middle of the story, and gives it to the last person in the pair or group.

  5. The last person writes Part C, the end, and the story is finished! Make sure each person's name is on the final story.

  6. The instructor can use whatever editing or corrections needs are appropriate to the learners and course.

  7. Students can illustrate stories individually or in groups (optional).


Find a class with whom you can share exchanges, either in person or online.

OELC Web Guide for Keypals to find an email exchange class for free.

Hint: Faster results can be achieved in class-to-class and email exchanges if the class that initiates the story (Part A writers) also finishes the story (Part C). Then the story is only "gone" (in the hands of the other class) for just one turn. Fewer stories are lost or remain unfinished this way.

© 2010, Leslie Opp-Beckman, Ph.D., Distance Education Coordinator and ESOL Instructor
Email: leslieob@uoregon.edu
URL: http://www.uoregon.edu/~leslieob/
5212 University of Oregon, Linguistics Department, American English Institute Eugene, Oregon 97403-5212 USA
Permission to copy and distribute for educational, non-profit use only.
This page last updated: 25 March 2010
University of Oregon