Middle school creative writing sometimes gets a bad rap. It is often seen as less serious and less important than many other types of writing. This is too bad because frequent and directed creative writing can offer significant benefits to your students and curriculum.
Let’s talk about a few of the benefits of teaching middle school creative writing.
Benefit One: It Gets Pencil to Paper (or Fingers on the Keyboard)
One of the biggest challenges for many students when beginning to write is just getting started. Blank pages and structured essays can be intimidating! By frequently writing in forms that don’t overwhelm our students right off the bat, we make writing a habit – one that can then be transferred to other forms and types of writing.
Benefit Two: It’s Fun
Middle school creative writing is seen by many students as something that is (relatively) enjoyable and exciting to do. They can tell stories of their own choosing and from their own imaginations in their own ways and own words.
Encouraging students to think of ELA class and writing specifically as enjoyable makes students more excited (or at least less reluctant) about doing forms of writing that they consider less enjoyable.
Benefit Three: Insight
Students will often reveal things in their writing that they won’t reveal in other ways allowing you to gain valuable insight into your students that you wouldn’t otherwise have.
This can be anything from their favourite books and movies to their dreams about the future. Writing allows the internal thoughts and ideas of that kid who never says a word in class to show through. Depending on what types of assignments you give, it allows students of all types to explore diverse ideas, thoughts, situations, and adventures right in your classroom.
Benefit Four: It’s an Art Form
Lastly, middle school creative writing is an art form. And while sometimes this consideration gets tossed by the wayside in the same way that music, theatre, and art education do, art is an important component of culture. Without it, society loses something integral to the way we think and exist. You never know what future author you might have in your class. And even if you are not teaching a future author, art is something that benefits us all.
Premade Middle School Creative Writing Lessons
Like all worthwhile endeavours, teaching creative writing is not usually as simple as telling your students to “Go, write me a story.” Luckily, there are many great resources out there to help you. I have created a few creative writing resources that will help you spark writing excitement in your students.
Start with this Pet Memes Narrative Writing Assignment. It is a wonderful way to teach narrative writing and encourage your students’ creative side. In it, students will first create pet memes by captioning photos of pets with speech bubbles. Then they will take one of their favourite pet photos and write a day-in-the-life narrative piece about that pet. Learn more about this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
Creative Writing Prompts and Activities
These no-prep Creative Writing Prompts and Activities will get your students excited about writing. These prompts are a fantastic way to incorporate student voice and choice into your lessons and can be used as stand-alone assignments, sub plans, enrichment tasks, as part of a writer’s workshop, or integrated with your ELA writing lessons. Learn more about this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
Creative Writing Full Year Bundle
If you are looking for something a bit more comprehensive, this Creative Writing Full Year Bundle might be just the thing for you. This collection of prompts and activities includes holiday and seasonal prompts as well as multiple creative writing assignments and optional grading rubrics for you to use. I like to double-sided photocopy the seasonal prompt on one side and the holiday prompt on the other. This gives students lots of choices and students who want to celebrate a holiday can – otherwise, they can use a seasonal prompt. Learn more about this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
Hopefully, you have been inspired to teach creative writing in middle school with your students.