Saturday, February 18, 2012

Teaching Tool: Rory's Story Cubes

My husband and I recently bought a set of Rory's Story Cube dice to use in our English classes...and they are awesome.

We have the "action" set. It's 9 cubes, with a different action (read: verb) picture on each side. I had a chance to use them with my class them other day. We rolled the dice and then I gave them 5 minutes to come up with a story in the past tense (we had just finished learning and practicing the past continuous verbs in relation to the simple past, esp. with "when" and "while"). The students also had to give me the names of the main character, the supporting characters, and the bad guy. They unknowingly named the bad guy after my husband, but when I told them, they graciously offered to change it to "Tom." We left it, though ;)

They put the dice in order made up the story, negotiating the process in English. When they were finished, I wrote it down exactly like they said it, and after, we went back to see what was right and what could be better. 

It was a good chance to practice the verb tenses in a fun way, but to still have natural language. I imagine this would also be a good activity if you were trying to elicit language from shy students. 

My only complaint is that some of the dice are obscure, but there are many options about what they are doing, so it is easy for learners to talk around it.

 Here is the story:

I highly reccomend the dice (or at least the "action" set). It's almost like they were made for language teachers.