Scott Paterson | December 4, 2015 | Creativity
“But I hate writing stories!”
If you’ve heard this from your student, don’t despair. You may even identify with them. Perhaps you hated creative writing in school or felt you had nothing to add.
Creative writing can be really difficult for students if they have a lack of inspiration. Here are four ways you can encourage creative writing in the classroom.
1. Cater to their interests
Every student is really interested in something. I used to get my students to write down their three favourite things at the beginning of the year, and I would find ways to incorporate them my classroom lessons.
Example: You have students that are interested in space.
Creative Activity: Pick a planet or moon and research it. Now write a story that takes place there.
2. Write what you know… sort of
We are always told it’s best to write about what you know. You hear that all the time. But it’s really not necessary, especially if you want to your students to be creative.
Most students know how to use Google, and how to perform basic research. So combine both research and creativity into one assignment.
Example: You’re teaching students about Egypt. You assign a specific topic to each student. (i.e. A student that likes soccer gets assigned a similar sport that Egyptians play)
Creative Activity: Research your assigned topic and incorporate it into a story.
Prompts work really well with children, especially if you have a designated writing time in your classroom. I used to allocate 15 minutes at the very start of the class to creative writing.
Luckily, there are many books of prompts available. This is one that I used for high school students, and this is one I used for kindergarten – grade 2. Visual prompts, like images, work really well too!
Example: Imagine you could make things disappear. What would you make disappear?
4. Weekly Journals
Journaling works really well with younger students – they have a natural affinity for storytelling. This activity doesn’t need much guidance: you can designate a time for students to write or draw in their journals during class time.
Don’t fret if they just scribble everywhere during the first few entries. They’ll write stories or draw non-abstract concepts when they are ready!
Creative Activity: Have the students design their own journal covers!