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Teaching creative writing to high school students

I love to teach it, I love to do it, I love to read about it. Creative writing often gets shoved aside, playing second fiddle to report and essay writing. I hear parents lament often that "My kid hates to write! They just may not know it because they have only known the world of report writing.

My hope is that all kids will have a chance to write creatively—to learn to love words and language. In teaching creative writing classes at our homeschooling co-op and, of course, with my own three kids, I have pinned and bookmarked dozens of resources for teaching creative writing at home or in a classroom.

Below are links to the ones I have found to teaching creative writing to high school students top notch. Please note that, except for the books listed at the end, these are all free resources.

I have not included programs for which you must pay, but there are many good ones out there. For more posts in the Ultimate Guides series, be sure to visit iHomeschool Network! Details and a special drawing are listed at the bottom of this post. Inspiration Teaching Creative Writing: This is one of my most popular posts ever.

Come read some of my ideas for making creative writing incredibly fun! Teaching Children to Write Poetry: Aadel of Natural Family Today embraces one of my mantras: Reading Poetry with Children: The best writers are avid readers who love the sound of words.

In this post I offer suggestions for great poems to read with kids—and how to avoid over-analyzing them! The creative process can be blocked in all kinds of ways.

This post suggests ways to clear the mind and push creativity forward. The WordSmithery is my free creative writing program. It's ongoing; you never know when I might add a lesson or two! I've taught this class to dozens of students and have had emails from dozens more saying, "We love this program!

When are you going to write more? In the meantime, check it out if you haven't yet! Amy's Creative Writing Lessons: She even includes PDF downloads of the hand-outs, organizers, and notes that she used for each class.

This is great stuff! Most of the prompts are related to the various events, including birthdays, holidays, monthly celebrations, and important dates in history. You can download a PDF form of each of the writing prompts. This is a fantastic site for stimulating those creative juices. This one site contains hundreds of ideas for writing.

Just a few of the features include: The What-If Question Genie provides a seemingly endless supply of writing prompts, such as "What if a bully tripped over a missing friend? Kids can pick out three details, Bruce starts the story, and the student finishes it. Random Wacky Headline Maker: Provides very silly writing prompts in the form of headlines and gives tips for turning the headline into a story. Includes poetry activities, short-story writing exercises, journal topics, printable worksheets, art projects, and more.

Provides an extensive list of writing topics by grade, 1st-high school Story starter from Story-It Story-It: A new one is available every day! Corbett Harrison's Always Write: I especially like the Bingo Cards—a fun way to encourage regular writing. Click to download PDF bingo sample.

  1. As the time for a conclusion draws near, the instructor announces that the next writer will begin to finish up the story and the one after that will conclude the story. Synonym wheel Synonym Wheels.
  2. Inspiration Teaching Creative Writing. I have not included programs for which you must pay, but there are many good ones out there.
  3. Just a few of the features include. The animals can speak.

The site also includes a random prompt generatorwith nearly 600 prompt possibilities. Be sure to look at his writer's notebook samples! Writing Prompts on Writing Forward: Each assignment is available to download in a Word or PDF doc.

Specifically, what will you take with you and why? What do you know about her wedding? Includes lots of funny poems. Haiku at In the Moonlight a Worm: This is a great introductory tool and discussion prompt for inspiring creative writing in reluctant poets. Form Poetry at Pizzaz: People still love getting real letters in the mail, and Rashmie has great ideas for inspiring your kids to write letters.

The Five Fact of Fiction: The link takes you to the downloadable PDF. Photography for Creative Writing: This is a great lesson on using photography along with creative writing. Outta Ray's Head Poetry Lessons: PDF files included on "instruction" tab.

Includes some traditional ideas and also three-element starters, such as: You Can Write a Short Story: Hands-On Projects Most of these projects can be adapted to use with all ages.

Synonym wheel Synonym Wheels: This is a fabulous project for learning to use the thesaurus and for encouraging writers to use more interesting words. Samples of how kids can practice alliteration by drawing pictures to match an alliterative phrase or sentence of their choice.

Teaching Creative Writing

Brightening Winter with Poetry Collages: My post on combining words with artwork to brighten up the dull days of winter. A great idea for combining field trip memories with journaling!

I always use a game to warm up my creative writing classes. This one from Fruit in Season is a favorite in my classes. Encouraging Children to Write Fan Fiction: On The Homeschool Classroom, Dee shares ideas for writing fan fiction —stories written about already existing characters or settings. This is a fantastic way to break into story writing. Picture Prompts for Writing: See how Cindy's kids use a picture as a starting point for stories.

Newspaper blackout poem Newspaper Blackout Poems: Take a newspaper article, black out words you don't want and keep the others, until you see a poem emerge.

One more step

One of our favorite projects! My son called his The Freakshow Weekly.

  • When the writer has been involved, the class listens more intently and more actively develops their listening and discussion skills;
  • I don't use journals often because in my opinion to be done correctly, students need feedback regularly and journals can simply 'pile up' without the attention that I feel they require;
  • A literary magazine for and by teens;
  • What do you know about her wedding?
  • In the meantime, check it out if you haven't yet!

Here's a slightly more serious one from Our Journey Westward. However your kids want to do it, a newsletter is a fantastic way to write creatively! Making Books in Your Homeschool: Book making provides a multisensory approach to learning: This post of mine on The Homeschool Classroom gives ideas and inspiration for making books. Simile rainbow 8 Fantastic Hands-on Poetry Projects: This post of mine on The Homeschool Classroom links to several fun projects we've done, including the simile rainbow above.

A beautiful project that integrates art, words, and portraiture. Younger kids love writing stories and poetry in shape books. This site features dozens of shape books to download and print.

The English Teacher

Stretch outside poetry and stories to nonfiction writing! Travel brochures can be a great way to incorporate geography with creative writing.

  1. Really, what writing Creative Writing lessons requires is creativity ahem. Students generally should read louder and with a little more feeling.
  2. The animals can speak.
  3. The students choose a box [usually cardboard] that 'fits' their personality. For the evening class arrange the boxes in the room with an identifying number on the desk which the box is on.

This blog features dozens of ideas for making simple, beautiful books of poetry. Innovative ideas with great results. Books There are bazillions of writing books out there, ranging from the earliest writers to adults. These are my absolute favorites. It's an idea book, not curriculum. Every single page is absolutely stuffed with ideas and inspiration.