Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Emoji Emotion II: Interactive Storytelling Game

Jean-Baptise Greuze

I’ve been teaching storytelling for 20 years, so I am always looking for new games and activities to keep it fresh, both for me and my students. A few years ago, I purchased some emoji stress balls at my local dollar store, thinking I might be able to use them in my class one day. Finally, last week inspiration struck.

Initially, I only had six of the emoji balls. I immediately knew this game was a success and I would need more for a larger group. I found them on

I tried the game three times with smaller groups until all nineteen of my students came together. They were eager to play the game again. It was controlled chaos, lots of laughter and the students loved playing with their stories, changing up the emotions, adding facial expressions, and gestures.

Below are the instructions for Emoji Emotion II.

  • Students stand in a circle.
  • Each one is given an emoji ball. 
  • Teacher assigns a number to each student one through six since there are six numbers on the die.
  • If there are more than six students the count begins at one again with the seventh student. Example: If you have a class of eighteen you would assign the numbers one through six three times.
  • Teacher plays music as the students pass the balls. Note: I queued up music via YouTube on my phone.
  • Teacher stops the music at their discretion. When the music stops the students keep whatever emoji ball is in their hand.
  • Teacher throws the die. Whatever number is rolled, the student who has that number chooses a line of dialogue from their story and tells it with the emotion on the emoji ball, even if it is not the correct tone for the story.
  • If you have more than six students then each student with the rolled number takes a turn.
  • Repeat the process as time allows, playing the music each time as the students pass the emoji balls.

This is a terrific game to use after the students are comfortable with their stories but I can easily envision using it as an ice breaker game. For example, the teacher assignes one sentence to be used by all but with a different emotion, to teach them how vocal intonation/expression will change the meaning of a sentence. Another way would be to have the students share one sentence about something from their lives using the emotion on the emoji ball. For example:
  • My favorite sport is baseball.
  • I have a big, brown dog. 
  • I went to the beach last summer.
Last year I created a different emoji-based game that also worked well. It was very successful but this new game is definitely more interactive. That game may be viewed at the link below.

Emoji Emotions: Interactive Storytelling Game

This game is definitely a keeper! If you decide to try this out with your students, please let me know how it turned out for you and for your students. I would love to hear what you think about it. Please leave a blog comment if you have time.

Permission for private use is granted but I do ask that you maintain the copyright information and offer proper attribution. Publication is prohibited without my expressed written permission.

There are many more original games I have created in my book, Story by Story, along with worksheets to help your students step into their story. 

Please note, websites change at a rapid pace and weblinks may change or break without notice. I cannot be responsible for redirected or broken links. At the time of this posting all links were in working order. Thank you for understanding.


Karen Chace 2023 ©

This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission, please contact me at storybug@aol.com. Of course, if you wish to link to my blog via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I appreciate your support and personal integrity.