Integration – Magic and Storytelling

Integrating storytelling into a magic effect is a great way to keep your students’ attention. When you are telling a story through a magic trick, the magic becomes secondary, like a mere illustration, but it makes the story so much more powerful and memorable.

      • Integrating storytelling into a magic trick… or integrating a magic trick into a story!
      • Make storytelling much more engaging and memorable
      • Skills: Listening
      • For practicing: Vocabulary & promoting reading.

Three magic tricks used in conjunction with stories written to practice vocabulary and/or grammar


Transcript: Ben’s Thumb

This is the story of a boy called Ben
Who made stupid bets with dangerous men

He played poker, and blackjack, craps and roulette
He’d gamble his money, lose it, and get into debt

And when he couldn’t pay, because he ran out of money
They cut off his finger and they thought it was funny

Three-finger Benny, that was his name
And this is the story of one particular game

You see, one day a stranger came to visit Ben
He found him playing poker with a couple of men

[looking at one student, who will be “Ben” …]

“Dear Ben” said the stranger “I have come on a mission
Many miles I have travelled to make you a proposition

They say that you gamble your money, you lose and you lose
Then you let your creditors cut off the finger that they choose

I would like to play you. And that’s why I have come
Because I am a collector, and I collect thumbs

But if you win then I will pay all the money that you owe
You will lose no more fingers, and you will never lose a toe

On this piece of paper there is a prediction
It’s the name of a card, it may be your malediction

These cards one by one I will drop
And when you want, just say stop

The next card will be the card that you choose
If I’ve guessed it right,
I win and you lose

[repeat, looking at one student…]

These cards one by one I will drop
And when you want, just say stop

These cards one by one I will drop
And when you want, just say stop

[repeat until student says stop, and then…]

The next card will be the card that you choose
If I’ve guessed it right, I win and you lose

Dear Ben, could you please take my prediction
And read it to the class with your perfect diction

[the student reads…]

You have finally chosen, the game is played
And the next card will be the seven of spades

The stranger said to Ben “turn over the card and come
give me your hand so that I can cut off your thumb”.


Transcript: The Poor Shepherd Boy

Once upon a time, in a village far away
Lived a poor shepherd boy who worked hard every day

He had no money, he had no wealth
But he was happy, and of course he had his good health

One day, however, a millionaire came
He had a car, a plane, titles, he had several surnames

He gave away so much money for the simplest of tasks
He gave one boy a thousand euros, just to carry his bags

He was followed by a group of eager photographers
And journalists, TV cameras, beautiful women and biographers

In a restaurant he ate oysters, caviar and champagne
He left a three-hundred euro tip, and then got on his plane

The poor shepherd boy didn’t know what to think
He thought it was crazy to pay 500 euros for a drink

But now the shepherd boy knew that he wanted that millionaire’s life
He wanted fame, fortune, power, and of course a beautiful wife

For weeks and weeks he prayed to be rich
Until one day he was visited by a witch

She brought 16 cards; aces, 10s, jacks, queens and kings
And said “I’ll give you one wish so that you can buy many things”

“Here is the ace of spades, it represents fame
Everyone will love you and they will all know your name

Here is the ace of clubs, it represents power
If you want to be president, and live in a tower

Here is the ace of diamonds, it represents money
You can buy everything you want, now isn’t that funny?

And finally love is the ace with a heart
No fame, power or money… just love beautiful as art

These are my gifts, but only one you must choose
One will be yours, the other three you will lose

Fame, power, money, love… Fame, power, money, love…
Fame, power, money, love… Fame, power, money, love

Now the poor shepherd boy really wanted to be famous
But some people forget, and others feel jealous
Some people start to gossip, and people can be rotten
And before very long, your fame is forgotten

Now the poor shepherd boy really wanted to have power
And to do what he wanted in his golden tower
But power corrupts, and kings are assasinated
And before very long, power is truncated

Now the poor shepherd boy really wanted prosperity
Buy anything he wanted and say goodbye to austerity
But money runs out, didn’t you know?
And when you have no more money, where will you go?

So I will choose love, said the poor
shepherd boy at last “Can I have love?” to the old witch he asked

Then the witch said “you have chosen well
Because love is not just having a mademoiselle
With true love you are famous, with love you are strong
With love you are rich”. And thus ends this song.

Transcript: The Naughty Daughters

Once upon a time, there lived four ladies
Clara, Sara, Hannah and Mercedes

Now I was bringing up these four girls, because I was their dad
And they were beautiful, friendly, affectionate… and very very bad

You see these women, as they grew up, they were very pretty
At night they dressed up, escaped, and ran down into the city

They danced all night, they drank and had fun
And they never came back home before half past one

And when they woke up in the morning they were so very tired
I couldn’t let them keeping on doing these things that they desired

But you know children, when there is a prohibition
breaking the rules (and getting away with it) is their only ambition

They weren’t allowed to go out, and they knew it
But each Saturday night one of them still opened the window and jumped out through it

But I always found out who had gone out drinking, no matter how much they tried
They would mix themselves up to confuse me, and they would hide

You see, all I had to do was look into their eyes
And I knew that [XXXXX] was the one telling me lies.


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