English Linguistics Teaching

Mr Thompson had a very strange day…

Written by Ioannes Oculus

I had this idea for a lesson soon after I bought my first StoryCubes. I tested it and it works quite well.

Level: Pre-Intermediate and higher

Purpose: Review of common verbs and past tenses.

Preparation and Materials: At least two sets of Story Cubes. I would suggest Actions as a basic one. The second set should be one like e.g. Mystery or Fantasia.

Language taught: Any.


  1. Choose one student to be the narrator of the story of Mr Thompson.
  2. Give a cube to each one of the other students.


  1. One student gets the Actions set and rolls all the dice. The story starts with the words: Mr Thompson had a very strange day. At the beginning, nothing indicated that … or similar.
  2. Other students use their cubes to change the story. The may roll or choose the side of the cube. They have to make a sentence that fits with the story so far but changes it.
  3. The narrator has to continue the story including the new information. He or she cannot just ignore it.
  4. When the last student interrupts the narrator, the narrator has to finish the story in a few sentences.


  1. Students can be asked to record the story on their phones. Later they should write it down, correct if necessary or even develop it, add some details etc.
  2. During one-to-one lessons the teacher can take the role of other students (or vice-versa, the teacher is the narrator and the student is interrupting the story).


About the author

Ioannes Oculus

I am addicted to languages, both modern and ancient. No language is dead as long as we can read and understand it. I want to share my linguistic passion with like minded people. I am also interested in history, astronomy, genealogy, books and probably many others. My goals now are to write a novel in Latin, a textbook for Latin learners, Uzbek-Polish, Polish-Uzbek dictionary, modern Uzbek grammar and textbook for learners. My dream is to have a big house in UK or USA where I could keep all my books and have enough time and money to achieve my goals.

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