H: Verbal Skills


These activities are also available in Romanian ro_ro and in Dutch 

Skills practiced: ordering, use of words, vocabulary building, creativity, fine motor skills.

H1: Finish the Story6392912

a. A picture from a well-known story or of a situation easily recognized by the group and that can have possible continuing actions (for instance, a person just about to fall into a puddle).

b. A board or large piece of paper to “publish” a story.


  1. Show the picture and ask the group to tell what they see. Then ask them to suggest different endings to the story.
  2. “Publish” the best story (funniest, most descriptive of surroundings, most different words used) OR “publish” as many stories as possible.
  3. Save the story/stories for future reading exercises.

Optional Worksheet #A1: Put the pictures in order.

Additional free story sequencing worksheets:


Download #H1 Activity

Download Worksheet #H1

Download Worksheet #H1a

H2: Problem-solving Story1424179156

The group will make up a story to tell or read that solves a problem.

Needed: Paper and (colored) pencils; board, or big piece of paper to ‘publish’ a story.


  1. Ask each person (or group) to make up a story about a tricky situation, a problem which must be solved (for example, someone is standing on a stone in the river and his foot slips OR someone is looking after their little sister and sees her climbing into the well).
  2. If there are only a few people in the group, have everyone make up his or her own story, draw it and tell it to the others.
  3. If there are many people, divide them into small groups. Each group makes up one story and the drawings to go with it.
  4. It might be necessary to provide the tricky situation or to “brain storm” to think of several options.
  5. Save the story/stories for future reading exercises.

Download #H2 Activity

H3: Three Things Story636455

The group will make up a story about three different things.

Needed: Three objects not usually used together in the same place. For example: bucket, a wheel and a seed OR a nail, a plate and a blanket. Large piece of paper to “publish” the story.


  1. Let the group sit in a circle and place the three objects clearly in front of everyone.
  2. Let every participant make up a story with all three objects in it.
  3. “Publish” the best story (funniest, most descriptive of surroundings, most different words used) OR let the group choose the best story to “publish”
    OR “publish” as many stories as possible.
  4. Save the story/stories for future reading exercises.

Variation: Make up the story as a group. The leader starts by picking up one object and beginning the story. They pass the next object on to the next person, who adds to the story. That person then  passes another object on to the person next to them, who adds to the story, and so on, all around the group. Shy people should be given the option of saying only one word.

Download #H3 Activity

H4: Create-a-Creature Story4910698

Group members will draw a fantasy animal, make up a story about it, then tell it seriously and dramatically to the group.

Needed: Paper and colored pencils for each person; a way to collect the papers together into a book (stapler, or needle and string).


  1. Tell a story about a made-up-animal. For example, “I heard a noise outside my door. I went to look. I didn’t see anything. Just a big fuzzy pink ribbon. When I tried to pick it up, it moved! It was a tail! And the rest of the animal was as strange as the tail . . ..”
  2. Have each participant think up a strange animal too.
  3. Ask two or three people to describe this animal.
  4. Have everyone draw their imaginary animal on a piece of paper.
  5. The leader may write words next to the drawing, like neck, tail, hair, nose, etc.
  6. Make sure that everyone adds something of the surroundings to their drawings, too, so the place can be recognized in the village or neighborhood.
  7. Have participants take turns telling a short story about their animal.
  8. Make a booklet of the drawings. Hopefully others will be interested in looking at it.

Download #H4 Activity

Download all H. Verbal Skills, A4