Home E-Learning Platform The Impossible Story

The Impossible Story


25 minutes

Learning Outcomes

Participants practice listening to others and paying attention to details.

As a teacher you decide whether you want to make a “competition” between the groups, and award a “winner of concentration / listening”. Or if you want to use the results for group reflection.

Resources & Preparation Needed

Template and examples of stories trainers can use (See Handout)


The trainer creates a story that takes a few minutes to tell. The story should be detailed and also contain body expressions at specific times during the story. It should have many similar elements of the same lexical category (e.g. several numbers, several proper names, etc.

Divide the class  into groups of 3-4 students.

Present the rules to the groups: 1: Listen to a story and  remember as many details as possible, including all numbers mentioned in the story and all proper names. 2: You are NOT allowed to make a recording or to take any notes. 3: After you have listened to the story, you have to remember as many details as possible (they have listened to the story, as a group they will have to recall as many details (numbers, names etc.) as possible. 4: Answer as many out of the questions as possible. 

The groups can be advised to use specific memory techniques, for instance “Memory Palace”.

Each group nominates a “Reader”.

The trainer splits up the text in several parts so that the “Reader” of each group has approximately equal amounts of text to read.

The “Readers” take turns to read out the story.

The group gets the question sheets or is asked to recall (without the helping questions) as many numbers/ names/ flavours (depending on the content of the story) as they can.

The winner is the team who gives the most accurate answers to the questions/ who collects the most words.

Note – the trainer can pre-teach some of the words’ meanings (which appear a few times in the story) and the pronunciation of some words. The trainer should have the answer key ready for the 40 questions, to make the checking of answers less tiresome.

Ideas For Reflection

Facilitate discussion and reflection by asking for example: 

  • What was surprising to you?
  • What was the difficult part?
  • Was it an unusual task for you? Why?
  • How would the exercise have been different if you had been able to take notes during the reading?
  • Share good experiences about concentration: What do you do when you REALLY have to concentrate on something?
  • What do you think might be the good thing about being able to concentrate or memorize details?

Share on Socials:

Need any assistance?
Feel free to

© 2024 Leader the Project. All Rights Reserved. ERASMUS+ PROJECT NO: 2022-1-NL01-KA220-VET-000089038
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the LEADER ScaleUp project partnership, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.