Leadership Inspirations Activities

Secondhand Stories

Adapt to changes while writing a creative or funny story


30-45 minutes

Team Stage


Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity


Paper, Pens Or Pencils



This activity helps to show that change can be a good thing by asking participants to develop a story that creatively incorporates whatever elements the facilitator suggests to them.



  • Break into smaller groups of 3-4 people each.


  • Tell participants that they have 20-30 minutes to construct a story. It must have a beginning, middle, end and a main character.
  • Throughout the exercise you will announce things that need be changed/added to their story.
  • Here are some suggestions that you can call out throughout the exercise, but you can also create your own:
    • Your story must include a beach
    • You cannot talk for 3 minutes
    • Add in an evil character
    • Change the name of your main character from this point forward
    • Create a title
    • Add a talking animal
    • Add your group’s favorite food
    • Make your school’s mascot a key character
    • Now everyone is on a pirate ship/in a jungle/in outer space
    • Change writers
    • Include a true story from one of your group members
    • Add a catastrophe
  • When time is up, have groups share their fun stories out loud.


  • Instead of writing a story, have groups draw a picture together in the Drawing Game.


  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?

Inclusion and Involvement

  • What does it mean to be inclusive or exclusive?
  • What did we do as a group that was inclusive? That was exclusive/not inclusive?
  • Why is inclusion and involvement important for our group?

Group Dynamics

  • What are the traits that make someone successful on this team? What are the traits that make someone unsuccessful on this team?
  • What motivates our group?
  • How does our group dynamic affect the way we get work done?
Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?