Telling our stories is one of the best ways to connect. This exercise increases empathy, team bonding and communication skills.

Participants are in teams of about six (often the class is split in half)

Teams sit in tight circles together.

Each player is going to tell a one-minute true story about themselves. It can be an embarrassing moment story, an injury story, a celebrity meeting, a vacation story, a childhood story, really anything at all, but it should be a true story about something that actually happened to you. I will time the stories so they will need to be completed in one minute. While someone else on your team is telling a story, please practice active listening. Show them listening body language. Make eye contact with them. Try not to be thinking about your story, try to stay in the moment listening to theirs. If they don’t use the entire minute, ask them questions about their story, and let them have a full minute of focus.

The first player on each team tells their one minute story to their team. Afterwards, thank that person for sharing their story. Now it’s the next person’s turn, and so on. Continue until everyone has told a one-minute story and been thanked by their team.

Next each team chooses one player to retell their story to the entire class while the rest of their team acts it out. The storyteller will be the narrator, but someone else on their team will play them. The entire team should be involved in some way, whether it be playing a character or making a sound effect, or even playing important objects. Teams have five minutes to talk through how they want to act out the stories.

It’s important to let the teams choose which story to act out. Some stories may be triggering, some storytellers may not be ready to see their story acted out or shared with the entire class, but there will be at least one story in every group that the team can enjoy performing together.