Group storytelling is a great way to: reluctant writers to see how fun and easy it is to spin a tale (then translate the story to paper).

... reconnect as a family. Telling a story together is a great way to share family time-- around the dinner table, in the car, on game night.

... group storytelling is a great way for friends and youth groups to break the ice and laugh together.


How to tell a story with a group

First, review our Storytelling How To Guide so you know about our easy storytelling formula.

Easy Storytelling Formula

Storytelling formula and How to guide

Next, decide on what type of storytelling you want to do:


  • Interactive Group Storytelling


    In this type of group storytelling, a lead storyteller adapts the story to the audience’s suggestions while she tells the story.

    See a video of interactive storytelling.

    How to do it:

    1. Choose your story leader. This person will listen to suggestions and guide the story.

    2. First, the story leader asks the audience to suggest a Who, a What, and a Why Not (See our super easy storytelling formula and storytelling how to guide.) This will be your main character and basic plot. Hint: If you need to help the audience with some ideas, see these story prompts.

    3. Next, start the story, pause and ask for input as you go.

    Interactive Group storytelling example

    (Who) A Viking + (What) wants to win a watermelon seed spitting contest + (Why Not) but she’s allergic to fun

    Lead storyteller: On a hot summer’s day, a viking was getting ready for an event she’d waited for all year- the annual Viking Games Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest.

    {Pause and ask the audience: What type of viking was she? Gruff or Kind, Uber-Competitive or Shy? Pick from the available input and keep going.} Our lady Viking was a gruff and bold Viking, as Vikings are known to be. Her name was Helga the Horrible and she had waited all year to show those other Vikings just how great she was at spitting seeds. She could win any contest she entered and this was going to be her next triumph. There was only one problem… she was allergic to fun. She could be a tough warrior all day long. But start having fun, and she had massive sneezing fits. And when she got to the park where the contest was, guess what-- everyone was having a good time.

    {Pause and ask who else was there, what were they doing. Choose some input and keeping going.} The other Vikings, like Igor the Giant, and Milly the Meek, were eating fried herring, cheering the boat races, dancing Viking dances, and having a great time. Helga froze. She could feel the first sneeze attack coming on. It was going to be big. Uh oh, here it came…

    {Pause and ask what the sneeze sounded like.} Aaahhchoogamigasplat. It was booming (and not just a little messy.) What would happen if she was in the contest, had a watermelon seed ready to spit, and a sneeze came on. This might just get dangerous….



    Interactive Group Storytelling Video

    See how it’s done with this interactive group storytelling video.

  • Storytelling in the Round


    In this type of group storytelling, each person tells part of the story and leaves a cliffhanger for the next person to continue.

    First, choose someone to lead off the story. The leader asks the group to suggest some Who, What, and Why Nots. Use our Super Easy Storytelling Formula to get the story started. Remember to add some descriptive words and start the action going.

    Next, the leader builds the action to where something is about to happen. Now stop (leave a cliffhanger), and pick the next person in the group who will keep telling the story. The second person adds to the story and builds the action again, handing it off just as something is about to happen.

    This continues until the group is ready to end the story. The last person to storytell gets to decide how the story ends.

    Hint: If you are doing this with children, boys and girls often want to tell very different types of stories. We found in our family that a few ground rules helped to keep the peace. For instance, not every character can be a princess, no gruesome violence, and you can’t kill someone else’s character or their puppy. It’s all about being considerate and respectful so it’s fun for everyone.



    Storytelling in the round video

    See how it’s done in this storytelling in the round video.

  • Storytelling in the classroom


    Storytelling is a great classroom activity to

    … build imagination and creativity

    … learn about adjectives and describing words

    … build teamwork skills

    ...experience the joy of creative writing in a less formal setting

    Use our free printable Lesson Plans and Worksheets to get started.