Story Match: An Activity for Gerunds and Infinitives

The topic of gerunds and infinitives warrants multiple encounters throughout a language learner’s studies.  A playful yet meaningful way to do this is to use a matching activity in which students combine sentence halves and properly sequence the sentences to create a complete story. This approach allows the teacher to select target verb + gerund or verb + infinitive combinations and tailor the complexity of the sentences to the students’ level. Stories need to be only 10-12 sentences long.

Here’s a model story that’s appropriate for upper intermediate or advanced students. Below you will also find the story in PDF, which can be printed out.

“The Sighting”

Set 1 [verb + gerund]

  • Last night I had just finished…  writing my last e-mail and was about to leave the office.
  • I recall… walking toward the elevator when a bright light suddenly shone through the window.
  • I confess… being scared at first, but then I simply became confused and curious. What was that outside?
  • I saw no reason to put off…  finding out, so I slowly approached the window.

Set 2 [verb + infinitive]

  • I attempted…  to see past the bright light to learn its source.
  • Although I didn’t hear the noise usually associated with a helicopter, I still expected…  to find one flying outside the office window.
  • To my surprise, I saw what appeared…  to be a small sphere, which was just big enough to hold one man.
  • I managed…  to catch a glimpse of a figure inside – it was not the shape of a man or a woman.

Set 3 [verb + gerund or infinitive]

  • As I stood looking at what I couldn’t even identify, I began…  to realize that I was probably seeing a UFO with an alien inside.
  • The unidentified flying object continued…  hovering quietly outside the window but the light was now turned low.
  • I couldn’t stand…  waiting and not knowing, so I made the next move. I raised my hand in greeting.
  • Just before the UFO flew away, I saw the creature’s strange hand go up, and I like…  to think that it was returning my greeting. In fact, I’m sure it was. Now who will believe me?

Story Match Activity (pdf file)

Suggested Steps:

Step 1 – Copy enough sets for pairs or small groups of three. Cut out the strips. Keeping the sentences halves in the appropriate sets, mix the strips.

Step 2 – Hand out one set at a time to the class. Allow students 3-5 minutes to construct the story by matching the beginning to the endings.

Step 3 – When all groups have made their matches, have a volunteer read their group’s sequence of sentences. Invite other groups to confirm or challenge the sequence read. Use this same format for all three sets.

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Murad says:

    This activity is excellent, thank you

    1. Thank you for viewing the material.

  2. Kirsten says:

    I cannot find the PDF for the story on here. Could you please help me find it?

    1. Hello Kirsten.
      Were you looking for this one?
      https://englishwithjennifer.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/story-match-activity.pdf
      Thank you for checking out the post.

  3. Kirsten says:

    Thank you so much! This is a really great post, by the way.

  4. Sheila says:

    Great idea!

  5. thanks for the idea. it was indeed a helpful thought. ^^

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Alexandra. 🙂

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