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.

11 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?

      Click to access 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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