Practice using the past tense with Mystery Bag Story Time, our ESL twist on a story chain.

ESL Games feature image - game #77

Mystery Bag Story time is a  great ESL game to use in your high school or adult classes.  This story Chain based activity combines: Listening, Speaking and Vocabulary building skills.

The details about this ESL Story Chain:

  • ESL Games - Mystery bagMaterials required – A non see-through bag or sack.  Various things (toys, schools supplies, food, etc..)
  • Ages – this game requires higher level vocabulary so I suggest using it with high school & adult students.
  • Time – This game can last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes depending on the size of your class and how many items you place inside the Mystery Bag.
  • Class Size – This game works great with anywhere between 3 and 10 students.  Anymore than that and I would suggest breaking your class into groups.  Smaller groups help to keep students engaged and speaking in English.

How to use this ESL Story Chain:

  1. Fill a Mystery Bag  (a.k.a. Feely Bag) with as many random items as you can.  At least 1 item per student.
  2. Have your students make a circle.
  3. Begin your story by saying some thing like: “Along time ago in a galaxy far away…….”. or “Let me tell you about my weekend…….”, etc.
  4. Reach into the bag and pull out an object.Mystery Bag Story Time - ESL Games #77
  5. Use that object to add a line (lower ability level) or paragraph (higher level) to the story you already started.
  6. Pass the Mystery Bag clock wise and have the student next to you another item out of the Mystery Bag and then add another line (lower ability level) or paragraph (higher level) to the story you already started.
  7. Continue this process until the Mystery Bag goes all the way around the circle.




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