People Interested in Zippy and ZAny Zcribbling

PIZZAZ has been an Online Resource since 1995 from Leslie Opp-Beckman
For Scribblers and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)


Description for Magazine Marvels: Students create stories from magazine picture collections.

ESOL student level:
These activities scale well to beginner through advanced level proficiency and can be used with all ages.

For more activities:
Return to PIZZAZ!


  • Old magazines with a variety of pictures/topics
  • Tape or glue
  • Paper (poster size or booklet size)
  • Scissors

Warm-Up Activities

Post examples of connectors and sequencing words (e.g. first, then, next, finally, etc.) on the board or wall for language support. You amy also want to post and review common story endings and beginnings (e.g. once upon a time, once long ago, in a land far from here....lived happily ever after, was never seen again, still lives there today, etc.).


  1. Students can work alone, in pairs, or in small groups.
  2. Each author or author group receives a folder containing a set of magazine pictures. They create a story using at least 5 of the pictures from their folder. Story characters can be "melded" in the sense that all young boys, for example, in the set are the same character "John" even though they have different faces.
  3. If he group has more than one author, the storytelling must be equally shared.


  • Each author/author group receives a stack of magazines and selects a minimum of 4-5 interesting pictures which are then used to tell a story.
  • Students write their stories after telling them.

Follow-Up Activities

  1. Students' work can be compiled into a class anthology or wall display.
  2. Students can illustrate stories with hand-drawn or computer-generated images.


Don Ki Hoote
by Manabu Hirata

His name is Don Ki Hoote. He was a famous adventurer 30 years ago. Everyone had known him well as a great mountaineer, but now he was simply an old man.

He lived in a big city. He owned many companies. He was very rich.

One day he heard the terrible news that someone was killed By a monster in the mountain. He felt his soul revive. Actually, this mountain was so difficult for a man his age, but he decided to climb and catch the monster.

Everyone wondered about him and hoped he would give it up. But he carried on. He climbed the mountain.

One day, he discovered a strange cave. He wanted to search it. As soon as he entered it, he felt younger. He was pleased with the cave. He built a house in the cave and He lived there for three years.

One day he was caught.

At first he couldn't understand, but he knew everything at last. To his surprise ... He himself had changed into the monster.

Four Amusing Men
by Sayuri

There are four amusing men in Oregon (America). They all love a woman who works in a company there. She is very beautiful, smart and kind to other people but she likes snakes so much! She always goes to the thicket or the mountains to get some snakes for her job.

One day, she realized that she had already gotten all the snakes in Oregon. She felt depressed and had been crying ever since she figured this out. The four amusing men wanted to help her, and they each thought it would be a nice chance to win her heart.

They all decided to go to Africa to find and bring back a lot of snakes for her. However, it was not easy to find a lot of snakes because the snakes in Africa were very smart and there was a woman who kept watch on the jungle and guarded them. Still, their greatest desire was to find a lot of snakes for the woman back home.

They spent about six months in the jungle. Finally, they found an island where thousands of snakes lived. They were able to get all of them for her. They truly believed this would win her love. They were so satisfied!

As soon as they had rounded up all the snakes, they went straight back to Oregon to see her. They expected that she would feel glad or would even cry with happiness.

To their dismay, they couldn't find her at work or at home. She had quit her job in that company since she was so depressed and she wasn't interested in snakes anymore.

Nobody could win her heart.


© 2010, Leslie Opp-Beckman, Ph.D., Distance Education Coordinator and ESOL Instructor
Email: leslieob@uoregon.edu
URL: http://www.uoregon.edu/~leslieob/
5212 University of Oregon, Linguistics Department, American English Institute Eugene, Oregon 97403-5212 USA
Permission to copy and distribute for educational, non-profit use only.
This page last updated: 26 March 2010
University of Oregon