Story Jars with Mr. Sean

I’ve always loved the make-up-a-story game, where one person starts with a introductory line and is followed by the next person’s addition, line by line, until a (usually very silly) story has unfolded resulting in guaranteed laughter as it is read from beginning to end. The Story Jar activity levels up this game by adding elements of inspiration to pull new, fun ideas from. This activity is great for oral or written language enrichment.

The classic story jar activity has three jars, one for “who”, one for “where”, and one for “what”, with written prompts that are drawn from each to tell a short story. A wonderful all-ages adaptation of this version replaces the written word prompts with small items from around the house or backyard.

I started a little story as an example, picking these three items…

…and coming up with this:

“The dinosaur slept on the rocky island underneath the starry sky.”


  • Add another character from the “who” jar and see where the story goes!
  • Add more interrogatives to expand the story, such as “when”, “where”, and “why”.
  • Another version I thought of has one jar filled with personal items such as keepsakes from trips, gifts, or toys with special memories attached to them. An item is taken out of the jar and that person shares a story about the item or why it is special to them.