Creative writing can build better English and Language Arts skills, but creative writing is a different beast. If students are uncertain how to start writing, they’ll face what all writers, even professional writers, dread – writer’s block. Here are six activities to inspire their writing.
- Encourage predictions
When reading a book, poem, short story, or other lesson, encourage students to predict what will happen. While this requires some level of deduction and reasoning based on events that have already happened, this activity opens the door to creative thinking.
- Ask for rewrites
But editing is a no-brainer, right? No, we don’t mean self-editing. We mean have your students rewrite the ending of a chapter of a book they’re reading in class and see where their creativity leads the story. Consider having students share their ending with the class or in small groups to spread ideas.
- Get writing inspiration from a student’s passion
Encourage students to write about what they know. You can give them a jumpstart by developingprompts based on students’ individual passions. If your students are older, have them complete a survey about the kinds of activities they like to do in their free time. If your students are younger and can’t express their passions easily or are just shy, send the questionnaire home to parents to fill out.
- Writing Prompts
Remove the work of having to think about a topic and free students up to get creative within a defined framework. For younger students, you can have them finish short sentences, kind of like Mad Libs. You can pick from K-12 writing prompts, create some yourself, or even pick lines from grade-level books. You can even have your students get involved in creating prompts by making a word jar and having students list favorite quotes, words, or lines from stories or movies and invite students to pick from the word jar whenever they get stuck on coming up with ideas.
- Writer’s Journal
Let students capture inspiration during free-flow writing time that you can use as warm-ups. Encourage weekend assignments in which your students need to write a journal entry whenever inspiration hits them while they’re at home or out and about.
- Defeat grammar and spelling troubles
Sometimes it’s the mechanics of actually writing and typing that gets students stuck in a writing rut. Not all students read or write at the same level, but many can speak their thoughts, making speech-to-text tools a great option to consider for your classroom. Read about how you can use assistive tech to unleash creative story writing here.
What’s your favorite way to inspire your student writers? Share with us in the comments below.