Interactive Grammar Practice: Collaborative Storytelling with ChatGPT

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While playing with ChatGPT, I tried writing a story with it. I wrote the first sentence and then I told it to add its sentence to continue the story logically. I told ChatGPT that it can only add one sentence at a time. It was really interesting to see how the story was going. Then I started thinking about how I can use it with my students. Then I’ve come up with this plan.

  • Target Language:  Present Simple Tense / Past Simple Tense/ Past Simple and Past Continuous / Narrative Tenses / Linking Words
  • Materials: Computer, interactive whiteboard, or projector, ChatGPT.
  • Level: Suitable for all language levels.

Divide the students into pairs or groups of three, depending on the class size.

Explain to the students that they will be creating a story with the help of ChatGPT. Emphasize that they will be focusing on using the target language. Explain the rules of storytelling by giving an example if necessary.

Storytelling Procedure:

  • The teacher starts the story by writing the first sentence
  • ChatGPT continues by generating the next sentence.
  • The first group then adds their sentence to the story.
  • ChatGPT generates the following sentence to maintain the narrative.
  • The second group contributes their sentence.
  • This cycle continues until the story reaches a satisfactory conclusion, or  each group adds their sentence, or you may set a time limit for each turn.

The prompt you are giving to ChatGPT is important so please add everything that you want ChatGPT to generate. This was my instruction:

let’s write a story together. I’ll write a sentence, you will add your sentence, then I’ll write another and you will add yours. We will practise past simple, past perfect and past continuous , while, after, when, by the time. shall we try?

You can also add the vocabulary that you want ChatGPT to use.

Tips for a Successful Activity:

Engage the students: Encourage all group members to actively participate and share their ideas.

Grammar emphasis: Remind students to focus on the use of the present and past tenses, and provide corrections or guidance as needed.

Encourage creativity: Prompt students to think creatively and contribute to an interesting story.

Monitor progress: Keep an eye on the story’s development to ensure it remains coherent and grammatically accurate.

Here are some follow-up activities you can consider:

Grammar Review and Reflection: After completing the collaborative storytelling activity, have a discussion with the students about the tenses they used. Review the sentences in the story and ask students to identify the instances of past simple, past perfect, past continuous, and the narrative tenses (while, after, when, by the time).

Role-Playing: Use the completed story as a basis for role-playing activities. Assign characters and scenes from the story to students and have them act out the scenes, using the correct tenses in their dialogues and narration.

Vocabulary Expansion: Introduce a vocabulary-building element to the activity. Encourage students to include specific vocabulary words or phrases in their sentences, helping them enrich their language skills while practicing the target grammar.

Writing Challenge: Challenge students to write their own stories independently, using the target language they practiced during the collaborative storytelling activity.

Themed Storytelling: Introduce a theme or genre for the storytelling activity, such as mystery, adventure, or science fiction.

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