I love my sets of Rory’s story cubes. Here are some ideas that I have tried out so far:
Logical order: Organise the stones in a logical order (logical mathematical intelligence) or sort them into categories, that pupils invent themselves (animals, objects, nature, etc.) and explain
One minute speeches: Use the stones as speaking prompts for one minute speeches (one die per pupil)
- Pass the story: Build a story by giving each learner a die to throw and start, continue and end the story. Do a second round when they get carried away. More advanced learners can build in a sort of cliffhanger at the end of their part to make it more difficult for the next student to continue. This way my advanced learners made the activity more challenging!
- Brainstorming: Use the dice yourself to have an individual brainstorm about new themes, topics or ways to organise your materials and ideas.
- Who am I: You can also give the stones to a student to tell something about himself. Have him throw all nine and let him select about five that he thinks tell something about him. To vary on this theme you can ask the student if the stones somehow tell him what he is going to do in the future. This way you can use the stones for an individual student counselling meeting.
- Change the atmosphere: Finally, change the negative atmosphere in class when students enter class in a bad mood. Give them the dice and tell them to play away. Worked well today 😉
When I discovered and bought a new set of 9 dice from Rory’s story cubes: voyages! I started to think of new activities right away. Here are some first ideas.
- Reporting: You could have students report on a day/week by having them throw the dice, organise them chronologically and then have them tell what they did this past day/week. A good activity when you are dealing with the past tense. To make sure students also use another form, you could have them repeat what the previous student said (he went to… etc.) before throwing the dice themselves and report on their day/week.
- Planning a trip: You could also have students plan a trip with the dice. A student rolls the dice and predicts or plans what he is going to do on a day out or on a holiday trip. Alternatively, students work in groups and throw a die each and together they discuss plans for a trip, using their image on their die to make suggestions. Can they work out a trip including all the elements on the dice? Instead of random order, you could ask the students in turns to make a suggestion, to which the next student had to link their image, and so on. This way it becomes more challenging.
- Dice and pics: Another idea is combining the dice with pictures. Give the (groups of) students a set of holiday pictures or postcards from holiday destinations. They roll the dice and have to combine each die with one picture. Who makes the best matches? To make it more competitive give each group an egg-timer and have them match pictures and dice within a minute. Of course the purpose is language learning, the oral explanation of the match needs to be accepted by the group members to make a match valid.
- Dice and words: What I would like to try out myself is to combine the dice with words. I am going to ask my students to recycle recently studied new words using the dice. Each group of students will get one set of dice (I have three now) and will be asked to throw the dice and use the nine images or symbols to make up a story that links up all the 15 words they have studied to the nine pictures. This way they have to work together on creative writing, meanwhile being active with the 15 new words.
These were just the first few ideas with the new dice before having used this new set in class. I am convinced there are many more practical and instructive ways to use the dice for language teaching and learning as they are so versatile and attractive to work with.
I’m curious to hear your ideas to use these wonderful cubes!
Find out more about Rory’s story cubes and buy them on-line here:http://www.storycubes.com/
If you have a smart phone, look for the App Rory’s Story Cubes, which is available for €1,79. Shake your phone to play.