Tell a Story Cards

Timeline:  Before Lesson

Group size:  8-50

Props Needed

  1. Picture cards, or cut pictures out of a magazine. You could also print a variety of pictures from Google images or use a collection of postcards.

Activity Preparation

  1. Prep time needed: 20-30 minutes
  2. You will need to prepare at least 24-30 pictures for every 4 participants in your group.

Activity Directions:

  • Have the participants get into groups of 4.
  • Give each group 24-30 photo cards.
  • Instruct the group that each person is to make up a silly story by turning over picture cards and incorporate the picture they see into the story.
  • Each participant should use at least 6 pictures in their story.
  • When the first participant is finished, they should pass the stack of pictures to the next participant and they can either build on the story that was started or start over with a new story.

Time needed:  30 minutes 

Facilitator script: “I need everyone to get into groups of 4 and then to hear the directions for our first game.  (Wait until everyone is in a group.)  Great!  What’s going to happen next is, I’m going to bring each group a small stack of picture cards.  Each person is going to get an opportunity to make up a silly story using the stack of picture cards.  The story will start by turning over the first picture.  When you see the picture you must start making up a story about what you see.  Then, when you turn over the second picture, you must incorporate that picture into the next part of the story.  Keep turning over pictures and keep adding onto your story.  Then when you feel like your story is done, or when you have turned over at least 6 pictures, then you may give the stack of pictures to the next person.  They can either build on the story the first person started, or start a new story of their own.  Each person will get an opportunity to make up a story.  Are there any questions?”


  • What was it like making up your own story?
  • What was one of the most creative surprises that popped up in one of the stories you heard?
  • How is this activity like creating our own story out in the real world?
  • What ‘cards’ or options do you need if you were creating your own deck of story cards?


Variation:  You can choose to end the activity here, or take it to a much deeper place.  Have a second set of cards that are addictions related.  Pictures of jail cells, drug paraphernalia, alcohol bottles and other items that correlate to addiction.  We recommend using clip-art pictures of these items so they do not trigger anyone.  Allow participants to peer over pictures and then choose the photos that would help them tell their story.  Include some blank cards so participants could draw images that they cannot find on the cards you provide.  Debrief this experience after each participant shares.


There needs to be a wide variety of clip art pictures that are approximately 3”x 5” in size.  Here are some suggested photos to add:

  • A house
  • Train tracks
  • A bridge
  • A river
  • A mountain
  • A sunrise
  • A dog
  • A cat
  • A castle
  • A car
  • A campfire
  • A library book
  • A girl on a walk
  • A boy riding a bike
  • A firetruck
  • An ambulance
  • A taxi cab
  • A stop sign
  • A road block
  • A snow storm
  • A dark cloud with a lightning bolt
  • A calm sunset
  • The moon and starry night
  • A snake
  • An apple
  • A horse
  • A cow
  • A barn
  • A playground
  • A bandage
  • A bag of gold or money
  • A canoe
  • A fork in the road
  • A cell phone
  • A city sidewalk
  • A newspaper
  • A flower shop
  • An airplane
  • A train car
  • A garbage truck
  • An old lady
  • An old man

Clip art photos of the following:

Tell Your Story Part 2 

  • Jail cell
  • Institution
  • Thunder storm
  • Cemetery
  • Dead flowers
  • Drugs
  • Needles
  • Alcohol bottles
  • A person passed out on the floor
  • A gun
  • Children crying
  • A woman crying
  • A man crying
  • A person hiding behind a car
  • A cop car
  • Handcuffs
  • A bartender
  • Someone driving erratically
  • Judge
  • Courtroom
  • College Party scene
  • Club with lights
  • Bar scene
  • AA Symbol
  • NA Symbol
  • Handcuffs
  • Cash
  • Credit Cards
  • Therapist
  • Support group
  • Marijuana
  • Pot Pipe
  • Glass Pipe