AN EFL ACTIVITY FROM ERNEST HEMINGWAY

Join a global community of over 200,000 TEFL teachers working throughout the world! Enrol me!

For sale: baby shoes, never worn. Six words, one story. Legend has it that this six-word story was written by Ernest Hemingway. Apparently he bet his friends he could write an entire story in six words. Needless to say, he won the bet. Whether or not the story is true we’ll never know.

What we do know is that this is a very clever activity which we can easily use in the English as a Foreign Language classroom. Because it is only six words, students won’t feel overwhelmed by writing a story. There are no limitations to what they can write so they are free to express their creativity. The brevity of the exercise means that the actual writing won’t take long and more time can be spent on the creative process.

So how can you use six-word stories in your EFL classroom?

Introducing six-word stories as an EFL activity

Discussion

Write a few six-word stories on the board:

Only child, but never the favourite.

They lived happily ever after, separately.

Don’t marry her, warned Future Me.

Let the students discuss what they think the stories mean and who wrote them. There are no right or wrong answers – let the students speak freely.

Watch a video

Watch this TED Talk about six-word stories and give your students comprehension questions to answer as they watch. You can also use the talk to focus on any specific language point that would be relevant.

NOTE: Make sure you watch the video beforehand to make sure it is suitable for your learners. If it isn’t or if you don’t like the video, there are quite a few other videos on the topic.

Creative writing

Give your students time to write their own six-word stories. Here are a few ideas on topics:

  • Your own memoir
  • A famous person’s memoir
  • Topic-based e.g. fame, pollution, Christmas, secrets.
  • Word-based e.g. write a six-word story using the word orange/love/money

Half stories

Source six-word stories online. Cut them up so that a half of each story is written on a piece of paper. Give each student a piece of paper. Let the students mingle and find the other half of their story.

Six-word stories started out as a joke but have become a phenomenon. They are fascinating and thought-provoking and, as a result, a good source of classroom material. They are useful as both a source of discussion and a creative outlet, with the added bonus that there is a wealth of authentic materials available on the topic. Everything we could ask for in an EFL activity.

Six words. One story. Your turn.

Comments:

Good,

I am currently an TEFL tacher in China.

I have turned 60 last December, and the cut off date for TEFL ryeachers is 60, unless you have a Doctorate degree. I will have my DBA later this year, but I am late for a VISA for September.

Is there a way that you can help me with a job in Any other countries?

Regards,
Luc.

Luc Swart, 31st May 2019

Get Social

Follow us on social networks, join our newsletter - get the latest news and early discounts

Sign up to our newsletter

Follow us on social networks, sign up to our e-newsletters – get the latest news and early discounts

Accreditation Partners

The TEFL Academy was the world’s first TEFL course provider to receive official recognition from government regulated awarding bodies in both the USA and UK. This means when you graduate you’ll hold a globally recognised Level 3 (120hr) Certificate or Level 5 (168hr) Diploma, meaning you can find work anywhere and apply for jobs immediately.

Product added to your cart

You have added to your cart:

Request call back

    Please leave your details below and one of our TEFL experts will get back to you ASAP:

    captcha Type characters on the left:

    Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

    Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

    Thank you! Your message has been sent!

    Download the TEFL World Factbook

      Please enter your details in order to download the latest TEFL World Factbook.

      Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

      Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

      Thank you for downloading the TEFL World Factbook!


      If the TEFL World Factbook did not download
      > Click Here To Download <

      Download the Online Teaching Guide

        Please enter your details in order to download our Online Teaching Guide.

        Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

        Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

        Thank you for downloading our Online Teaching Guide!


        If the Online Teaching Guide did not download
        > Click Here To Download <

        Download Prospectus

          Please enter your details in order to download our latest prospectus.

          Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

          Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

          Thank you for downloading our prospectus!


          We hope you enjoy reading our prospectus, we have tried to make it as useful as possible! Please get in touch if you have any questions.


          If the prospectus did not download automatically
          > Click Here To Download <

          $
          $