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Play this
informal family storytelling game

Saying "tell me about your life" is usually a little too broad to evoke memories. You have to zero in on a specific topic. "Did you ever…?" is an intergenerational game young and old can play to evoke memories. Both children and adults will have memories on most of these topics and can compare memories from different times.

Each person in a group tells a true story about one of the topics below. They can choose from the list, or you can write topics on slips of paper, fold them up, and have people pull a slip of paper from a bowl.

Did You Ever…?

Tell a story in as much detail as you can. Remember the incident like a movie in your head, and explain what you see one step at a time – what happened, what you thought, and what you felt before, during, and after.

Here are some topic ideas:

Did you ever…
see a lion
go swimming
go on a boat
take a cruise
go to a beach
visit an art gallery
stay on a farm
sleep in a cabin or tent
go to a country fair
go berry or vegetable picking
see a circus
act in a play
see a really scary movie
get a bad grade
win a prize
have a good luck charm
make something you were really proud of
move to a new house
travel overseas
live in a foreign country
stay in a fancy hotel
drive in a convertible
have a pet
bake bread
play an instrument

Variation: If people don't have a specific, real memory on a certain topic, encourage them to make a story up. Tell the story as if it really happened. As you go around to each person in the group, and after they've told their story, the group then has to guess if the story was real or made up. How often can you guess accurately? How clever can people be in making up stories? Is truth sometimes stranger than fiction?

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No materials

Seniors groups
Schools (social
  studies; history;
  language arts;
  life studies)