Welcome to
ESL Printables, the website where English Language teachers exchange resources: worksheets, lesson plans,  activities, etc.
Our collection is growing every day with the help of many teachers. If you want to download you have to send your own contributions.

 


 

 

 

ESL Forum:

Techniques and methods in Language Teaching

Games, activities and teaching ideas

Grammar and Linguistics

Teaching material

Concerning worksheets

Concerning powerpoints

Concerning online exercises

Make suggestions, report errors

Ask for help

Message board

 

ESL forum > Games, activities and teaching ideas > Black Stories    

Black Stories



douglas
United States

Black Stories
 
Has anyone ever heard of or used a game called "Black Stories"?  One of my students told me about it today and it sounds like a great ESL tool.
 
The gist of the game is that one person has a card that tells part of a (usually murder) mystery and the others try to fihgure out the entire story by asking yes and no questions.  It sounds like a lot of fun, I think I will order it today and check it out.
 
Would love to hear if anyone has any experience with the game.
 
Douglas

7 Jan 2011      



moravc
Czech Republic

I have heard about this one. Some friends of mine played it in Czech with their kids aged 8 and 10. It ´s nice, but I think it is suitable for more advanced students (B1-B2) as the grammar and vocabulary used is quite complicated (not limited at all because the game is aimed at NATIVE speakers of course...)
There are also White Stories cards - about ghosts... sooouuuunds really interesting... :-D

I think it can be really fun, but it would be great to have an abridged simplified version for lower-level students... Shorter and less complicated sentences, limited vocabulary + maybe a few notes at the bottom of each card (explaining difficult vocabulary)

Maybe you can make the simplified version... Wink

White stories: How could that have happened? White Stories is a game similar to the Black Stories game series. The players try to reconstruct an obscure event by asking, guessing and fiddling about. Only yes/no answers are allowed. This version of the black stories has mysteries related to various spooky things - ghosts, apparitions, witches, phantoms, and more...

BTW the students will have to make many yes/no questions. The only answers allowed are: Yes. No. Ask me differently. Yes/No but not essential to know.

Examples of black cards: (translated from Czech)
1. Taxi stops, the taxi driver opnes the door and a dead men falls on the road. What had happened? (Answer: The previous passenger was a spider lover and he forgot a box with his spider there. This dead men panicked when he saw it and so he was bitten by a poisonous spider.)
2. A man was lying in a pool of blood in a telephone box. The windows of the telephone box were broken. (Answer: The man was a fisherman. He had caught a big fish. He went to phone his friend and while he was explaining how LOOOONG the fish was, he broke the glass walls and cut himself and bled to death.)
3. When John made one step back, he died. (he was a window cleaner at a skyscraper. His shift was over, so he looked at the window, combed his hair and made one step back to see better. This was his end.)
4. When the light flickered, Stephan knew he was late. (His son had died in an electric chair. Similarly - ambulance)
5. Veronica was lying dead in the middle of a meadow. No footprints around. Just a parcel next to her. (THIS IS A TRUE STORY! She was a parachute. No lucky day she had...)
5. A dead man was found in a train wagon at a railway station. What had happened? (I think he woke up in a tunnel and he thought he was buried alive, so he rather killed himself than to wait for a long death.) This is a Poe´s story!

I used to play these logic games at the summer camp. It is fun. The most famous "black story" was this:
One day we were travelling in desert and we found an old house. It was empty, but in the locked back room there was a hangman. His feet were 1.5 metre above the floor. There was nothing else in the room. How did he manage to kill himself?
The answer is:


He had climbed a big block of ice and so he didn´t need the chair :-D The ice melted because it was hot...

7 Jan 2011     



moravc
Czech Republic

http://www.moses-verlag.de/black-stories/

The publisher is asking for more black story ideas...
There are hundreds of such stories on the net so maybe we can make our OWN black stories or spooky stories.

The newest black story:
"Mr.
Schmidt was found dead in the snow. In the distance a woman was found tied up in their workplace."


Btw, there is a lot of crime vocabulary such as a murder, arson, suicide, accident, killer, gun, poison, shot, illnesses - heart-attack, internal injury, tropical disease, ...

BTW There are Black Stories 1 and 2 and 3. There is about 150 stories altogether... But you have to pay 12 dollars for each pack of cards... I usually buy cards for 2-3 dollars only...

7 Jan 2011     



blunderbuster
Germany

I ´ve got one for you:

Two men go to a restaurant, sit down, order their food. The food arrives, they taste the food, one of the men shoots the other and then himself.

Questions, anyone?

7 Jan 2011     



moravc
Czech Republic

1Were they criminals?

7 Jan 2011     



blunderbuster
Germany

Nope ;o)

7 Jan 2011     



moravc
Czech Republic

2Did they know each other?  3Was the food eatable? 4Were they relatives? 5Did they really want to die? 6Is the reason of willingness to die an important issue to find the answer to this story? 7Did the waiter told them anything? 8Were they a father and a son?
9Did they both have pistols? 10Had they argued? 11Was there an agreement between them, something like: if you eat that hot food I will not kill you... or something like that...?

7 Jan 2011     



blunderbuster
Germany

2 Yes.
3 Yes.
4 No.
5 One yes, one no.
6 Yes.
7 No
8 No.

7 Jan 2011     



moravc
Czech Republic

Sorry, I have to go now... I ´ll be back soon...

Well, I know the answer... sorry... It was among the other lateral puzzles I found on the internet...

7 Jan 2011     



moravc
Czech Republic

These stories are also called: Lateral Thinking Puzzles

1. The man in the Elevator

A man lives on the tenth floor of a building. Every day he takes the elevator to go down to the ground floor to go to work or to go shopping. When he returns he takes the elevator to the seventh floor and walks up the stairs to reach his apartment on the tenth floor. He hates walking so why does he do it?

2. The Man in the Bar

A man walks into a bar and asks the barman for a glass of water. The barman pulls out a gun and points it at the man. The man says ´Thank you ´ and walks out.

3. The Man who Hanged Himself

Not far from Madrid, there is a large wooden barn. The barn is completely empty except for a dead man hanging from the middle of the central rafter. The rope around his neck is ten feet long and his feet are three feet off the ground. The nearest wall is 20 feet away from the man. It is not possible to climb up the walls or along the rafters. The man hanged himself. How did he do it?

4. Death in a Field

A man is lying dead in a field. Next to him there is an unopened package. There is no other creature in the field. How did he die?

5. Anthony and Cleopatra

Anthony and Cleopatra are lying dead on the floor of a villa in Egypt. Nearby is a broken bowl. There is no mark on either of their bodies and they were not poisoned. How did they die?

6. The Coal, Carrot and Scarf

Five pieces of coal, a carrot and a scarf are lying on the lawn. Nobody put them on the lawn but there is a perfectly logical reason why they should be there. What is it?

7. Trouble with Sons

A woman had two sons who were born on the same hour of the same day of the same year. But they were not twins. How could this be so?

8. Push that Car

A man pushed his car. He stopped when he reached a hotel at which point he knew he was bankrupt. Why?

9. The Arm of the Postal Service

One day a man received a parcel in the post. Carefully packed inside was a human arm. He examined it, repacked it and then sent it on to another man. The second man also carefully examined the arm before taking it to the woods and burying it. Why did they do this?

10. Heaven

A man died and went to Heaven. There were thousands of other people there. They were all naked and all looked as they did at the age of 21. He looked around to see if there was anyone he recognised. He saw a couple and he knew immediately that they were Adam and Eve. How did he know?

11. Friday

A man rode into town on Friday. He stayed for three nights and then left on Friday. How come?

12. Manhole Covers

Why is it better to have round manhole covers than square ones?

13. The Deadly Party

A man went to a party and drank some of the punch. He then left early. Everyone else at the party who drank the punch subsequently died of poisoning. Why did the man not die?

14. The Deadly Dish

Two men went into a restaurant. They both ordered the same dish from the menu. After they tasted it, one of the men went outside the restaurant and shot himself. Why?

15. The Realization

A man was walking downstairs in a building when he suddenly realized that his wife had just died. How?

16. The Blind Beggar

A blind beggar had a brother who died. What relation was the blind beggar to the brother who died? (Brother is not the answer).

17. The Broken Match

A man is found dead in a field. He is clutching a broken match. What happened?

18. The Music Stopped

The music stopped. She died. Explain.

19. Swimmer in the Forest

Deep in the forest was found the body of a man who was wearing only swimming trunks, snorkel and facemask. The nearest lake was 8 miles away and the sea was 100 miles away. How had he died?

20. The Elder Twin

One day Kerry celebrated her birthday. Two days later her older twin brother, Terry, celebrated his birthday. How come?

Answers:

1. The man in the Elevator

The man is (of course) a dwarf. Variants of this puzzle include the clue that on rainy days he goes up in the elevator to the tenth floor (he uses his umbrella!)

2. The Man in the Bar

The man had hiccups. The barman recognized this from his speech and drew the gun in order to give him a shock. It worked and cured the hiccups - so the man no longer needed the water.

3. The Man who Hanged Himself

He climbed on a block of ice which has since melted.

4. Death in a Field

The man had jumped from a plane but his parachute had failed to open. It is the unopened package... This is sometimes given with the following rather elegant clue - as he approached the centre of the field he knew he was going to die.

5. Anthony and Cleopatra

Anthony and Cleopatra were goldfish whose bowl was knocked over by a clumsy dog.

6. The Coal, Carrot and Scarf

They were used by children who made a snowman. The snow has now melted.

7. Trouble with Sons

They were two of a set of triplets (or quadruplets etc.)

8. Push that Car

He was playing Monopoly.

9. The Arm of the Postal Service

The three men had been stranded on a desert island. Desperate for food, they had agreed to amputate their left arms in order to eat them. They swore an oath that each would have his left arm cut off. One of them was a doctor and he cut the arms off his two companions. They were then rescued. But his oath was still binding so he later had to have his arm amputated and sent to his colleagues... This is often told with a further twist whereby a doctor pays a tramp a large sum in order to amputate the tramp ´s arm which the doctor then sends to another man who inspects it etc....

10. Heaven

He recognized Adam and Eve as the only people without navels. Because they were not born of women, they had never had umbilical cords and therefore they never had navels.

11. Friday

The man ´s horse was called Friday.

12. Manhole Covers

A square manhole cover can be turned and dropped down the diagonal of the manhole. A round manhole cannot be dropped down the manhole. So for safety and practicality, all manhole covers should be round.

13. The Deadly Party

The poison in the punch came from the ice cubes. When the man drank the punch the ice was fully frozen. Gradually it melted, poisoning the punch.

14. The Deadly Dish

The dish that the two men ordered was albatross. They had been stranded many years earlier on a desert island. When the man tasted albatross he realized that he had never tasted it before. This meant that the meat he had been given on the island was not albatross as he had been told. He correctly deduced that he had eaten the flesh of his son who had died when they first reached the island.

15. The Realization

The man had visited his wife in hospital. She was on a life-support machine. As he was walking down the stairs all the lights went out. There had been a power cut and the emergency back-up systems had failed. He knew that she had died.

16. The Blind Beggar

The blind beggar was the sister of her brother who died.

17. The Broken Match

He and a number of other passengers were making a balloon trip in a desperate attempt to flee a country. The balloon had to lose weight to stop it from crashing. He drew the short match and had to jump.

18. The Music Stopped

She was a circus tight-rope walker who walked blindfolded over a high wire. The band played as she crossed and when the music stopped it was the signal that she had reached the end of the walk and could safely alight. One day the conductor was taken ill and the stand-in conductor ended the piece of music too early. She stepped off to her death.

19. Swimmer in the Forest

During a forest fire, a fire-fighting plane had scooped up some water from the lake to drop on the fire. The plane had accidentally picked up the unfortunate swimmer.

20. The Elder Twin

At the time she went into labor, the mother of the twins was travelling by boat. The older twin, Terry, was born first early on March 1st. The boat then crossed the International Date line (or any time zone line) and Kerry, the younger twin, was born on February the 28th. In a leap year the younger twin celebrates her birthday two days before her older brother.

source:

http://rec-puzzles.org/index.php/Lateral%20Solution

7 Jan 2011     



moravc
Czech Republic

Lateral Thinking Puzzles or Problem solving games...

1. You are driving down the road in your car on a wild, stormy night, when you pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus

  • An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
  • An old friend who once saved your life.
  • The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

Knowing that there can only be one passenger in your car, whom would you choose?

  Show Hint
Show Solution

Hint: You can make everyone happy.

Your car can only contain one passenger, so whom should it be?

Answer: The old lady of course! After helping the old lady into the car, you can give your keys to your friend, and wait with your perfect partner for the bus


2. Acting on an anonymous phone call, the police raid a house to arrest a suspected murderer. They don´t know what he looks like but they know his name is John and that he is inside the house. The police bust in on a carpenter, a lorry driver, a mechanic and a fireman all playing poker. Without hesitation or communication of any kind, they immediately arrest the fireman. How do they know they´ve got their man?

  Show Hint
Show Solution

Hint: The police only know two things, that the criminal´s name is John and that he is in a particular house.

Answer: The fireman is the only man in the room. The rest of the poker players are women.


3. A man lives in the penthouse of an apartment building. Every morning he takes the elevator down to the lobby and leaves the building. Upon his return, however, he can only travel halfway up in the lift and has to walk the rest of the way - unless it´s raining. What is the explanation for this?

  Show Hint
Show Solution

Hint: He is very proud, so refuses to ever ask for help.

Answer: The man is a dwarf. He can´t reach the upper elevator buttons, but he can ask people to push them for him. He can also push them with his umbrella.


4. How could a baby fall out of a twenty-story building onto the ground and live?

  Show Hint
Show Solution

Hint: It does not matter what the baby lands on, and it has nothing to do with luck.

Answer: The baby fell out of a ground floor window.


5. Bad Boy Bubby was warned by his mother never to open the cellar door or he would see things that he was not meant to see. One day while his mother was out he did open the cellar door. What did he see?

  Show Hint
Show Solution

Hint: His mother was an odd woman.

Answer: When Bad Boy Bubby opened the cellar door he saw the living room and, through its windows, the garden. He had never seen these before because his mother had kept him all his life in the cellar.


6. A man and his son are in a car crash. The father is killed and the child is taken to hospital gravely injured. When he gets there, the surgeon says, ´I can´t operate on this boy - for he is my son!!!´ How can this possibly be?

  Show Hint
Show Solution

Hint: This has nothing to do with adoption or time travel.

Answer: The surgeon can not operate on her own son; she is his mother.


7. There are six eggs in the basket. Six people each take one of the eggs. How can it be that one egg is left in the basket?

  Show Hint
Show Solution

Hint: A alternate version of the problem is... Saradhi, Nick & Ted win a raffle contest. The prize is three hard boiled eggs in a basket. After discussing how to divide the prize, each take one egg. Nick & Ted get hungry and so eat their eggs. One of the original eggs is still left in original basket.

Answer: The last person took the basket with the last egg still inside.


7 Jan 2011     

1    2    3    Next >