Stories are powerful ways to activate language and also help students "frame" and retain language. This lesson about Funny stories is for higher level students but is really fun and engaging.
1. Start by giving one of the funny stories
(I like to give the 3 wishes story) to one of your better students to read. Ask them to step out of the class and read alone. You will call them back in, in a few minutes.
2. Tell another story to the class
. Stop before the punchline and ask them to guess.
3. Give students a funny story (see below)
. You can either just chose 3/4 and give these out to groups so each member has a different story or use all the stories. Students are to read the stories quietly for a few minutes, asking about any difficult understanding or vocabulary.
Then in groups of 3/4 they try to retell their story to other group members. Explain they should try to only read if it is too difficult to state in their own words. When the teacher signals (after about 10-15 min.) students change groups once more and retell again (it will be easier).
4. Ask them as a group about which story they found the funniest / liked the best
. Have one student retell that story as review (some will not have heard it!).
The times I've done this lesson, it has always succeeded. The stories are funny and it can lead into the students telling their own / sharing their own funny stories/jokes. Also, if time permits, keep getting them to retell as many times as possible by changing groups. Also challenge them to retell another person's story! You might even extend for very high level students by having them write down a story they heard and then have other class members edit and read. (see the story frame template attached).