The consequence chain story

The consequence of the chain story… the consequence chain story+part 2

After trying the chain story (14/2 post), I thought I should jazz things up so I gave the consequence chain story a shot.
Background info:
 My lesson was on the 2nd conditional and I wanted my students to use this structure in a freer activity as part of the practice stage of my lesson.  My learners had to use the second conditional in their consequence chain story contributions.
I got students to write a sentence on a piece of paper, They then handed it to the person next to them. That student read the sentence and continued the story. Then he folded the 1st student’s contribution and handed it to the 3rd student who could only read the previous student’s sentence (student C can see what student B wrote, but not what student A did).
How is this difference to a chain story?
Well, it is not that different in essence, but the theme has to be about something that lead to something else.
Student A: If I wasn’t in class, I’d be at home.
Student B: If you were at home, you would be in big trouble with your teacher.
Student C: If your teacher knew you were playing truant from school,….. and so on.

This was a fun task my students giggled and added some funny sentences. Yes, they used the target language and the task went smoothly except for one thing. Timing. Were I to do this task over again, I would give them a time limitation like  30 seconds to a minute. I would maybe even bring in an hour glass or a ticking clock to add some drama. I think this would make the task more challenging and everybody would be writing. There would not be piles of papers next to one student and nothing next to another. I would make sure you I had two different consequence chain stories coming from both ends of the class so I don’t have your students waiting around for too long.

Ideas for the end of the lesson:

  • You can gather all the papers and either offer a feedback session in the next lesson.
  • You could handout all the student’s paper and ask the learners to correct them as homework.

Not exciting enough?

  • Give two or more students a consequence chain story and tell them to create a role play based on the story and present it to the rest of the class in the next lesson.

Twist number 2- A few months later…

I wrote this blog post some time ago, but I revisited it today. I was teaching all three conditionals to my young learners (pre-intermediate group). I actually used the consequence chain to present the language  instead of in the production stage. My learners provided me with the examples of the target language. They really got into it and there was a lot of laughter in the class. I had taught the conditionals to this group  in the past, but this time it felt like they really got it cause it was fun and memorable. We spent almost 20 minutes writing consequence chains on the board and you can see what my learners came up with in the photo I have provided. Try it out with your young learners. It’s a winner!

I am interested in any contributions you may want to make : )
Till next time….


3 thoughts on “The consequence chain story

  1. yes, it is very good to experiment with new ideas and check how they work with students..!! I think chain story can be quite motivating and fun for students. The reason fore this is that students can express their real selves. So automatically it becomes personalised. That way they do not get bored on the one hand and on the other they practise someting which could happen any time outside class. To that end, students get prepared for communication to take place any time outside classroom.


  2. Sounds like a very effective class where the students really absorbed how to use the 2nd condit. while having fun.
    Reminds me of the first time as a new teacher I tried to teach it to a group of businessmen and made the mistake of telling them about it (hypothetical, things that might happen etc.) rather than getting them to do it. One man very seriously said 'I don't need this, I only deal in certainties.'


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