Story around the circle

It is an activity through which teams can achieve many different benefits. They can develop stronger connections between their members, appreciate each other more and define common goals aligning their vision of the next steps that must be undertaken. All while using their imagination
to possibly find new solutions to problems they might be experiencing.


This activity is based on a further elaboration by JO Education’s staff of a resource curated by the partnership of the Erasmus+ Project FAVILLE
One of the aims of the project FAVILLE was that of developing a digital application containing several resources that could be used both faceto-face and online by groups of people and learners, under the direction of a learning facilitator.


Getting to know each other, creating a vision for the team, exercising imagination, appreciating diversity of thoughts and styles.

Structure of the process:

You need to sit around a table or in a circle, so that everyone can see and hear each other.

The organiser can decide if the story will be on a certain theme, and if so, identify it. (e.g., “What our organisation will be like in 5 years, and how we will get there”;) The story could be about a real challenge the team faces and how to deal with it.

The organiser can start the story, e.g., “Once upon a time, in a land far away, 5 people got together to solve all the world’s problems. Everything seemed easy, until one day one of the people saw on the horizon…“
Around the circle, each person takes a turn adding his/her ‘piece’ to the story. The organiser can set a time limit for each person, such as one minute, or suggest each contribution be one paragraph or two sentences. Suggest that some of the parts end with an incomplete sentence or
a cliff hanger such as “and then…” or “Fortunately for her…” The story can come to a conclusion with the last person in the circle, or you can go around twice or several times, or by a time limit.
At the end of activity, you can debrief and discuss the process. Discuss whether the story has ideas or lessons relevant to the group’s regular activities.

Your Approach:

When choosing order of play, have each person choose the next participant or have the facilitator select the next person. Ensure that nobody goes more than once.


A note-taker, together with the tools needed to do so, might be needed for having a clear picture of the ideas that  emerged during the activity.


Facilitators of Virtual Learning (FAVILLE)’s partnership, JO Education, Italy