Constructing stories, no matter how brief or rudimentary, can be an excellent teaching method that not only allows students to cement important vocabulary in their memory but also consolidates their grammatical knowledge. The opportunity for students to be creative will no doubt involve them far more effectively than the somewhat monotonous task of copying out sentence after sentence. This heightened engagement with the subject matter at hand, a brief story, will allow them to enjoy their learning and really profit from it.
Depending on availability of equipment, one should initially try and use either a flip chart or PowerPoint format when delivering this presentation. This chart will form the ‘template’ for your students' stories as they are created. Arrange the surface into a large grid in which the first caption is Once upon a time..., followed by sentences with gaps, which you invite the students to fill.
Simply have them fill the grid with the relevant vocabulary flashcards and short, simple sentences. This forms a basic and easy-to-understand story structure, which should no doubt bring much amusement and fun. The story can be as ridiculous or down to earth as you please, so long as relevant grammatical phrases and words are incorporated. A sample is provided below:
Once upon a time, there was a happy horse. It ate a lot of hay and liked playing football. One day it was eating cucumbers in the field when it was attacked by an angry cow. The cow was very angry because it had no food. The horse told the cow not to be so angry and in the end they played football together and ate hay. The horse was very happy but the cow was still very angry. The end.