Tips for Teaching Creative Writing in the Classroom

Students writing on paper

Language shapes the way we see the world around us and expands our understanding of the world beyond. This is why creative writing is essential for children. It equips them with the skills and the necessary tools to make sense of their thoughts, emotions, and surroundings. And to make sure that they learn in the best possible way, here are some things you can do.

Use writing prompts

Inspiration does not always hit, and your young writers may have a little “writer’s block” at times. To jostle their imagination and jumpstart their creative process, introduce a topic that will get them excited.

Writing prompts are often used in creative writing classes all over the world to stimulate children’s imagination. These prompts can be anything from making them describe their favorite place, to pretending they are writing a letter to a fictional character, and a dinosaur knocking on their door. Kids are generally imaginative, so you have to be just as creative when coming up with prompts.

Emphasize characterization

Before writing their stories, make your students focus on building the characters first. Encourage them to think about their main character’s personality, background, and motivations, as they come up with story ideas.

Make them divide a page in their notebooks or a piece of paper into four, where they would fill each quarter with the likes, dislikes, flaws, and motivations of their character. Ask them questions: “what makes your character get out of bed every morning?”, “what keeps them from achieving their goals?”, “how do they react or behave in certain situations?”

Once they have fleshed out their characters in writing, make them swap notes with a seatmate. Using their classmate’s character notes, they should write the character’s monologue for a given scenario. To further teach them how to create engaging characters, ask the children “what if” questions they should answer by adopting an imaginary character’s point-of-view.

Develop effective description

Details make a story convincing and entertaining. Play observation and description games with your students to free up their imagination and encourage them to form creative phrases in writing. Make them hold a fruit and ask them to describe its appearance, smell, and texture. Show them pictures of people in various scenarios and ask them to describe what is happening.

Encourage children to write how their character feels in any situation, since an emotionally fleshed-out character is more relatable and likely to stir the reader’s feelings. Urge then to use figurative language, such as similes and metaphors, to effectively describe how their characters feel.

Write a class book

Little girl writing on notebook

Many people enjoy creative writing, but only a few of them become published authors. To inspire your little authors in their creative writing journey, write a book for your final class project. Let them brainstorm and come up with the story and characters on their own. And have them illustrate the book. There are companies that offer bookmaking and publishing kits for schools that let students create and publish their own books.

Creative writing is more than just a fun class at school. For kids, it is a discipline that allows them to unleash their imagination, hone their thought process, and exponentially improve their language skills. All of these are necessary for children to write their own, wonderful future.

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