Story Circles: An Ordering Activity for PowerPoint.

Story Circles is a useful PowerPoint activity that can be used to present or practice the sequences or the order of the target language.

Sequences or orders often occur in English language teaching. For example:

  • Adverbs of sequence. (First, then, next, finally)
  • The royal order of adjectives.
  • Sentence order.
  • Ordering intensifiers.
  • The sequence of events in reading activities.
  • Introducing personal stories.

I wanted to create a PowerPoint activity that encourages students to think about the order of things.

This is what I came up with.

Story Circles - Example.PNG

Example of Story Circles that puts countries into alphabetical order.

The activities include six circles of random images or text that can be put in the correct order below. In this example, I have used images as country cues and the goal is to put the countries into alphabetical order. Alternatively, the countries could be put in the order in which they were visited. In either case, the cues could be converted into a story or a travel itinerary by the students.

Story Circles - Titled Slide
Click on the title (Story Circles) image above or follow the link below to download the template.

Download the Story Circles template

The template contains 3 slides – a title slide and two different types of questions. There is a picture only slide and a text only slide. Each slide contains 12 circles. 6 upper circles and 6 lower circles. The images or text from the upper circles and rearranged into the correct order in the lower circles.

  1. Select the question type
  2. Copy that slide into a new presentation
  • Open the Story Circles template.
  • Click on File and select New from the File menu.

Alternatively, press CTRL+N to open a new presentation.

  • Go back to the Story Circles template and select a slide
  • Right-click on the slide and click on copy
  • Change the window to your new template by clicking on the file open on the taskbar.

Alternatively, hold ALT and press TAB to select your new presentation.

  • Right-click in the slide view pane on the left-hand side of the new presentation and click on paste (keep source formatting).

Alternatively, press CTRL+V to paste your slide (However, this won’t keep the formatting from the original template).

How to edit the template

Adding your own images

Watch this tutorial video or read the notes below for information on how to edit the template. Topics covered include: how to copy the slides, how to change the image placeholders, and playing the game.

Video tutorial showing how to use and edit the Story Circles template.
The video run-time is 1 minute and 47 seconds.

Copying slides

  • Download and open the Story Circles template.
  • Copy the question slide that you want to use in your presentation.
  • Paste the question slide into your new presentation.
  • Right-click on the slide view pane and click on paste (keep formatting).
  • Delete any unwanted slides.

Working with image placeholders

  • Go to the animation ribbon to see the correct order of slides.
    • This will be indicated by the path animations.
  • Right-click on your first image placeholder.
  • Select format shape from the menu.
  • Go to the fill section.
  • Choose picture or texture fill.
  • Click on file and select your image.
  • Click on insert. The image will appear in the circle.
  • Repeat this process for all the circles.

Working with text placeholders

  • Go to the animation ribbon to see the correct order of slides.
    • This will be indicated by the path animations.
  • Double-click on the text to edit it.
  • Add your own words, phrases or sentences.

Playing the game

  • Go the slideshow ribbon and start the presentation.
  • The title screen appears.
  • Left-click on the title screen to go to the first question slide.
  • Left-click on an image and it will move to the correct circle.

That’s it! I hope your students will enjoy playing Story Circles.

 

Changing the path of the animation

Having used Story Circles once with your class, how do you change the end point of the animations so that the images or text move into different circles?

Watch this tutorial video or read the notes below for information on how to edit the template. Topics covered include: changing the paths of the animations and playing the game.

Video tutorial showing how to use and edit the Story Circles template.
The video run-time is 1 minute and 19 seconds.
  • Go to the animation ribbon.
  • The paths of the animations will be indicated by dotted lines.
  • Left-click on your one of your images.
  • Next, left-click on the end point of the path animation.
  • Hold and drag the end point to a new circle.
  • Repeat for all the other animations.

Playing the game

  • Go the slideshow ribbon and start the presentation.
  • The title screen appears.
  • Left-click on the title screen to go to the first question slide.
  • Left-click on an image and it will move to the correct circle.
  • The correct order will not be different to previous versions.

That’s it! I hope your students will enjoy playing Story Circles.

Do you have any suggestions for using Story Circles in class?

Please leave a comment if you have any ideas you would like to share or if you have any questions about the template.

Alternatively, you can send me a message on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and take care!


Story Circles was designed with Microsoft PowerPoint 2016. Animations and sounds may differ when opened in other presentation software.
Microsoft® Office® is a copyrighted product of the Microsoft® corporation. All images are for educational purposes only.


You may also like to read:

5 Activities to Make Your PowerPoint More Engaging - Featured Image5 activities to make your PowerPoint more engaging includes a matching activity, a photo flash activity, a picture reveal activity, and two memory games.

My hope is that other teachers will find these activities useful.

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