FAMILY FRIDAYS: ZOOM GAME 2
By Megan Flød Johnson, Program Development Specialist
A fun Zoom game of storytelling and improvisation for the whole family!
For 2 or more players | Ages 3+
One Line Story is a fantastic solution to the following conversation:
You: “How are you? What did you do today? Tell me about what you had for lunch…”
Your favorite child on Zoom: “fine” “I don’t know” or “good”
You: “Want to tell me more about it?”
Your favorite child on Zoom: “… … … Nope.”
Players take turns adding one line to a story until the story is finished.
Device to use Zoom platform
Friends and family who also have Zoom!
Speaking & Listening – players take turns speaking their storyline, listening to the next line of the story, and then incorporating ideas and moving the story ahead in their next turn.
Responding with Voice and Body – players respond to the story by adding sound effects, facial reactions, or physical movement in their bodies.
Get everyone into your Zoom Meeting!
Choose a starting player.
The starting player introduces the first line of the story (a great way to start is “Once upon a time there was a…”)..
When the player finishes their line of the story, the next player adds a line.
At any point, a player can ask the others to show movement, sound, or a facial reaction.
“how did the unicorn MOVE through the slimy swamp?” and players use their bodies to show how they think the characters moved through a specific element.
“what did it sound like when the rainstorm began?”
“the troll gazed into the treasure chest full of live worms and this was their reaction… what would your face look like?
“they looked out onto a vast desert and said…”
The game ends when a player says, “The End.”
If you’re playing with younger children (2-4 years old), the game can be adapted to be one person tells the WHOLE story and the others make sound effects or use their bodies to pantomime each story element.
For more than 2 players, use NAMES to help clarify who is talking to whom.
Reminding players that stories consist of a beginning, middle and end can be a helpful way to guide action to a close.
Use teaching artist tricks like “can you show me…” and “what would your face and body look like if…” or even “on the count of three we’re going to make the sounds of a volcano, 1-2-3” to prompt and coach reactions from young people.
A story doesn’t have to make perfect, logical sense! Children’s brains (especially in the 3-6 age range) are wired to connect and share seemingly unrelated things that may not be sequential or follow a narrative structure. That’s ok! Celebrate the silliness and original ideas of the story you create together!
Positively reinforce children’s creative story ideas! You could even say “YES, and” at the start of each turn!
To further the discussion, you could ask questions for the child to reflect on their plot or character choices, “Whatever happened to that unicorn, I wonder?” Who knows, it might prompt a new story!