Creative writing is an important part of the writing journey. The priority in today’s education system is non-fiction and essay writing. It can be hard to remember that students enjoy the opportunity to flex their creative muscles with creative writing assignments. In this blog post, teachers share their best ideas for incorporating creative writing opportunities in the English Language Arts classroom.
Q1: What is the structure of your creative writing (CW) class or how do you incorporate CW into your ELA class?
- My students free write in journals several times a week.
- We start each class period with 5 minutes of quiet journal writing time. Some weeks the prompt is creative.
- When I taught CW, I let the class decide the type of writing/genre and then used writing workshop format to teach each one.
- When designing summative tasks for ELA units I try to add a creative writing option if it fits. i.e. short story unit
- Our 1st major writing piece is a short story. A favorite for many students!
- It’s a semester class so 1 month memoir, 1 month fiction, 1 month screen/stage writing, 1 month poetry.
- In our narrative unit right now, and Ss have choice in any topic. Need 2 do a better job of infusing CW throughout the yr
- Read mentor texts, followed by mini lessons and workshop time. Ended w/ sharing in a celebration
- I started every class with a quick write on a variety of topics and pulled a lot of lesson ideas from Don’t Forget to Write
- I have my students do free writing periodically. My juniors just finished a This I Believe narrative.
- Creative writing is an area of need for me. I focus on essays that are state standard. Narrative writing is where Ss create.
- I plan to do project based writing next semester with juniors. They completely create their CW projects. So excited!
Q2: Do your CW students keep blogs? If so, on what platform? For what purpose?
- We don’t use blogs, but if we did I really like the Blogger platform.
- We didn’t keep blogs. Students kept a notebook for play and practice
- My fav. is poetry; we use stations for creating poems & also have friendly competitions.
- We do not keep blogs. I am not sure if we would even be allowed. 🙁
- Students don’t use blogs but have used platforms like WattPad in the past to share their writing
- I have my Ss blog. Anything inspired by their SSR. Sometimes they do choose a creative writing response. Great authenticity.
- Students don’t use blogs but have used platforms like WattPad in the past to share their writing.
- I don’t use blogs either. My students build stories around subject matter we study. I do run comment threads on Google CR.
- No blogs yet! We have been doing a lot of collaborative work with Google Apps though.
Q3: Has anyone incorporated graphic novels or movie storyboards into a CW class? Share your experiences.
- My CW class used storyboarding for our children’s books
- Before everything had to be essay writing, I used to have students make a children’s book out of novel we read in class.
- In my ELA classes my students create a short film and learn to storyboard. It helps them to stay focused during filming.
- This is my first year teaching ELA to grade 8. I would love to learn about incorporating movie storyboards into CW!
- I suggest Blogger, but ultimately let them pick.
- I love having Ss make comic versions of short stories we read. It’s a great way to practice summarizing and still be creative
- Storyboards for iMovie is a YES! Plan before you video. Create backdrops and make due with what we have.
- Our prompts are always related to the reading we are doing in class. I use sentence stems with ELL Ss.
- Ss creates storyboards on @StoryboardThat to practice imagery. They also use picture books to practice analysis
- Adobe Spark is a fun tool! Not a storyboard but Ss can make trailers
Q4: In what ways do you provide an authentic audience for your creative writers?
- Blogging is a wonderful way to provide an authentic audience and writing experience.
- We are a Google school. Blogger is a Google tool. The students can control the viewing privileges.
- Looking for ideas here but I know my kids would love it if there was some kind of display – maybe a coffee shop type event?
- I have Ss create according to what they feel is needed. it usually involves teen issues. Ss tell a story they want heard.
- Ss presented This I Believe essays to classmates. Some even submitted to the official website! Loving the idea of using blogs though
Q5: What guidelines do you use for fairly assessing student creativity? Effort?
- teenink is also a great place to submit/ read.
- I use a rubric that basically looks for plot elements and conventions.
- I don’t grade their free write notebooks. I only read them if they share them with me, and ask me for feedback.
- I do not judge their creativity – just that they have a complete story with good conventions.
- My grading is based on elements we collect from mentor texts and mini lessons
- I look for implementation of ideas. W humor, the rule of three, etc.
- Rubrics tailored to the assignment including whatever writing techniques we’re working on i.e. fig. lang., suspense
- I don’t assess creativity. Measuring it is difficult. Quality in words can vary from brief to long, yet each can be profound.
- Look for basics—ideas clear, organized logically, mechanics, etc. Looking for best efforts