One Word Story

“You’re never going to kill storytelling because it’s built into the human plan. We come with it.” Margaret Atwood


The group sits in a circle (or stands, or sits in desks), one person begins by saying one word, the next person can only add one word as the story grows and moves through the circle.  The aim is to allow it to be playful and make surprising sense.  The challenge is not anticipating what the person beyond you is going to add.


You can also do this one on one, where someone gets out if they stumble or go blank.
You can create a theme for the story that aligns with whatever subject you are currently working on, or use photos or objects to prompt the story.   There are now wonderful cards like Dixit that have beautiful images for story prompts.

Suggested Uses

  • Listening
  • Trusting in group process
  • Exploring the concept of “being in the moment”
  • Quick way to spark ideas