Creative writing is one of the most enjoyable forms of writing that students learn in school. Unlike in the case of academic and formal theme writing, students are able to express their creativity in such writing classes. They can craft stories, describe characters and settings, and share with the readers their thoughts and ideas. Through creative writing, they can share their experiences, make their own world, design their heroes and villains, and create and solve conflicts for their characters.
Teachers play a big role in encouraging their students to enjoy writing. As the captain of the ship, you should lead and inspire them to enjoy the craft and later on, be good at it. However, how can you be an effective creative writing teacher? Here are some tips and tricks for you:
As with teaching any subject, planning is of great importance when teaching writing. Plan ahead to make sure that you and your class will be on the right track. Schedule your lessons and arrange topics chronologically. Start with the basics such as plot and character development. Look for materials to supplement your lessons. There are plenty of creative writing worksheets online. Make use of them as part of your students writing activities—either as seatwork or homework.
Set themes and topics
It also helps to line up themes and topics for your students to draw inspiration from. Browse through magazines and books to get ideas. List down topics as your “seed ideas” and arrange them according to your scheduled lessons. This should help students use their imagination as they work on subjects that may not be familiar to them.
Challenge your students
Test your students’ skills by giving them writing challenges. One good example is writing a six-word story. Writing stories can be daunting, especially when you’re required to write at least three pages, for instance. But the thing is that it’s harder to write when you’re limited to just a few words. This kind of challenge will make your students get those creative juices oozing for good.
Friendly competition is great for every class. Encourage your students to step up their game by giving them activities that will earn them points and bragging rights. Give them contests such as character designing and making their own story endings, as well as homework like word bank and journaling. Give them points for their output and give recognition to top scorers. Remember that creativity is subjective, so create a simple rubric to assess their written works.
Allow review and feedback
Let your students review the works of their classmates. You can group your class into small groups wherein they can share their stories and writing pieces. This should help your young writers to gain confidence in what they’re doing and listen to other people’s comments and suggestions to better their skills. At the same time, it helps you gauge the competencies and weaknesses of your students through the eyes of other audience.
The best thing about teaching a subject like creative writing is that you don’t just get to teach, you also learn in the process. It is truly a great experience seeing your students get better at writing. Who knows, you could very well be training the next Hemingway or perhaps the next J.K. Rowling.