National Curriculum Links:

Pass on the story can be adapted to address key requirements for English across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, including: 

  • Acquiring a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language. 
  • Gaining knowledge, skills and understanding associated with the artistic practice of drama. 
  • Improvising, devising and scripting drama for one another and a range of audiences. 
  • Writing clearly, accurately and coherently. 

This particular version of the game is especially suited for children in Year 1 and Year 2. It will encourage them to: 

  • Become familiar with key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales, including retelling them and considering their characteristics and sequence of events. 
  • Make inferences on the basis of what is being said and done and predict what might happen next on the basis of what has been said so far. 
  • Write sentences by saying out loud what they are going to write about, composing a sentence orally before writing it, sequencing sentences to form short narratives and re-reading what they have written to check that it makes sense. 

How to Play

The person with the ball starts by setting up the story using one of the prompts below, or one of their own. They then throw the ball to the next person who continues the story. Each person can add as many sentences as they like, as long as they leave the story open-ended for the next person. The story continues on and on this way until someone decides to finish it. 

You can make the game quick-fire by setting a timer and only allowing each player one minute to think of a sentence. If you start to lose focus, or run out of ideas, try placing someone in the middle of the action, making them switch from third-person to first-person.

Once you’ve finished your story, make sure to write it down so you have a record of all your hard work. Read it over it and check it makes sense. 

You can even turn your story into a picture book by adding illustrations. If you need some help illustrating your characters, we have another fun game here to get you started.  

Story Prompts

To get your game started, we have made some prompts based on some of our favourite Bristol Old Vic productions. 

  • A boy is visited in the middle of the night by a monster who tells him stories. One night, the monster…  
  • A mermaid lives in an underwater kingdom with her father and her older sisters. On her birthday, she comes across a shipwrecked prince… 
  • A band of outlaws live in the woods and steal from the rich to help the poor. One day… 
  • In a faraway kingdom, a young woman is treated like a servant by her evil stepmother and stepsisters. On the evening of a grand ball, a fairy godmother appears… 
  • At the top of a mountain, a powerful storm leaves two climbers stranded. They decide to… 
  • In an inn near Bristol, a young boy finds a treasure map showing the location of pirate gold. He shows the map to… 
  • One summer afternoon, four children set sail in a dinghy to explore a great big lake. Eventually they reach a deserted island…