Morgan Sully, 2010. 

Coming up with a worthy topic for a story can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be.  Here’s a few prompts to get you started.


Can work for small or large groups.  Not much technology is needed for this activity.


This activity will help students find and start a story to tell.


  1. As the instructor, choose one or more prompts below and have your students list relevant items to each in their journals or on a sheet of paper.
    1. List 3-5 specific experiences that have made you the person you are
    2. List 3-5 relationships that have been important in your life
    3. List 3-5 unique things that you do (habitually)
    4. List 3-5 places that have been important in your development
    5. List 3-5 experiences you’d mention if someone asked you to explain why you do the work you do
  2. Once they’re done (after about 10 minutes), have them circle 3 of the most promising ideas (about 3 minutes).
  3. Now have them pick one of theseand write for 10 minutes about it.

Processing Questions

You might ask, Why is this one (particularly) important to tell?

Other Things to Try

Show and Tell

  1. Have students/participants bring in a few choice objects from home, work or play.
  2. Lay them out on a table and have them take a picture or scan them.
  3. Write a paragraph on the item.

How to Make a Short Film in a Week

Elias, 2009. Making a first-time short film with a group of young people or community members can be an extremely rewarding and insightful exercise for everybody involved. The group gets to express themselves in a creative way and dives head-first into the...

Musical Mixer | A Warmup Game for New Groups

By Dan O'Reilly-Rowe, 2009. This discussion facilitation model is good for getting groups of people who have just met to get up, move around the room, and speak to each other. It can be used to discuss a particular topic, or simply as a way of introducing people....