Learning objectives Students will be able to practise making predictions and support their thinking with evidence from the text.
Get ideas flowing by taking student outside. Alamy From birds chirping aloft the trees to sapphire blue lakes sparkling in writing app l1 8lt sun, the sights and sounds of summer make it the perfect time of year for a spot of creative writing.
Getting students to put pen to paper is a good way to spark their imaginations, develop reading and writing skills, and teach about empathy. Primary students Author Nick Hesketh recommends that before children start writing, you should discuss what makes a good story. He shares this and other advice in his creative writing video series for the Scottish Book Trust.
Next, capture young imaginations by getting students to think about the story they want to tell. Where is it set? At what time of day?
What is the weather like? What can you hear, see, smell or feel? This worksheet by Creative Writing Now will help students get to know their main character, while this plot questionnaire will encourage them think about what is going to happen.
Then get your class penning their masterpieces, writing just a few sentences to begin with. There are examples of well thought-out sentences here. Creative writing should be fun, and playing games is good way to help students develop story ideas. The aim is to show that good story ideas often involve some sort of tension.
Give students unusual things to write on, such as the back of an envelope, a leaf, or a rough piece of wallpaper.
Or challenge them to write a short story in just 50 words. A quick way to conjure up story ideas is through pictures. Use prompts such as this image of two boys sitting on the wing of an aeroplane or this one of a dinosaur in the gardenwhich can work really well.
Another tip from writer and teacher Heather Wright is to ask students to start several stories then choose the one they want to finish.
Secondary students Challenge secondary students to write a story in just six words or get them to compile a list of objects for an imaginary cabinet of curiosity. They have produced an easy-to-use page activity pack for the classroom, which introduces a range of genres and draws on a variety of writing stimuli including photographs and poems.
If students want to get to the heart of a character, ask them to address the audience as their favourite fictitious creations. Writing a monologue is the focus of this key stage 4 resource by the Poetry Society.
The aim is for students to make effective use of descriptive detail as they write short lines of poetry in response to a series of prompts. As a homework task, ask students to repeat the exercise while looking out of a real window.
Students doing creative writing at A-level need to work in a whole range of written forms and genres including creative non-fiction and web content.
They should be prepared to share work-in-progress with others, responding to feedback and developing drafting and editing skills. They should also write regularly to deadlines and keep a journal of writing ideas. For those who are eager to take creative writing even further, this resource offers useful information on how to set up a creative writing club.
Finally, remember to encourage young people to read as often and as widely as possible — this is one of the most effective ways to teach creative writing. With this in mind, be sure to set your students off on the Summer Reading Challenge. Follow us on Twitter via GuardianTeach.
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