Story Circles©
Story Circles - Requires six participants or more.

The order in which the story thread will be passed from person to person should be determined before beginning (from front to back, left to right, etc.). The length of time each person should talk (thirty seconds or one minute, for instance), should also be determined in advance. A timekeeper or monitor can be used, if necessary, or each person's internal clock can be trusted. Each person should be free to change the direction of the plot and spontaneously add characters, places or things. The object of this game is to have fun!
© 2003 Storytree Productions by Jerry & Ada Forney
Circle #1 - Using Established Stories (Three Little Pigs, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella etc.). The designated beginner starts with a well established story everyone knows (Once upon a time, etc.). The next person in line picks up the story thread and adds on. The story continues around the circle at least once, sometimes twice if it is a small group. The object here is for each storyteller to relate their part of the agreed upon story in their own words.

Circle #2 - Using Cut and Paste Stories.
The group leader passes out a magazine to each participant. The designated beginner opens a magazine and randomly begins reading from an article or story. The next person in line opens their magazine and also randomly reads a passage. As before, this spontaneous reading continues around the circle at least once, sometimes twice if it is a small group. Variation: Each participant reads only a sentence or two, then uses this as a jumping off place for original improvised material. Continuity, if there is to be any, is supplied by the storytellers themselves.

Circle #3 - Creating Original Stories.
Everyone writes a topic or a story suggestion on a piece of paper and places it in a basket. The designated beginner draws from the basket and begins an original story. The next person in line picks up the story thread and furthers the plot or adds a new twist. As before, the story continues around the circle at least once, sometimes twice if it is a small group. The object here is for each storyteller to develop their ability to improvise.

Circle #4 - Story Circle Mix. Choose a moderator and timer. Start with an outline of a folktale or established story (Three Little Pigs, Cinderella, etc.). Break into small groups of two or more. Try to mix more established tellers with newer ones. Each group chooses a method or a combination of methods from Circle 1, Circle 2 or Circle 3. They develop the story topic as a group then give a performance.

Rules of thumb to keep in mind:


- Keep it simple. Don't complicate the storytelling process.

- Beginning storytellers might do better in familiar territory (#1 or #2).

- More advanced storytellers who are looking to exercise their imaginations and their ability to improvise might do better with #3 and #4.

-Everyone should be encouraged to stretch a little bit, but always remember to keep it fun! There are no passing or failing grades in a story circle (this is not a feedback session).

- Always encourage a round of applause for the group for their fine efforts!

- Story Circles can get out of control if certain boundaries are not established. Topics that should be avoided, if possible, are: religion, politics and sexuality. This will keep offensive or controversial material to a minimum.

Start your Story Circles NOW!
Have Fun!
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