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I teach high school creative writing. I was wondering if anyone out there would be interested in exchanging ideas?
I work with 6-8th grades so I'm not on the high school level. But I love and strongly believe in writing, especially how it connects to thinking, learning, reading ... life. I'd be very interested in exchanging ideas. One of my favorite things is planning creating wiring assignments!
I love creative writing for myself and whatever grade level of children I am working with. One of my favorite writing "exercises" is to create a story with a whole class. I give them ideas of where and when the story can take place and who the characters might be. They are always thrilled once they decide how we will start the story, they learn immediately how exciting it is to go to another place even if it's only in our imaginations. I may start the story but then we go around the circle. (The children are usually busting at the seams and have the hardest time waiting for their turn!!)I will step in and add a sentence if I feel the story needs some direction. I write the story down as we go, and all the children get copies with everyones name and the date on it. This idea/project has never failed.
I used to teach middle school and writing was a big hit when I had the students bring in pictures from home to create a story based on the pictures. My students also enjoyed writing based on magazine pictures and absolutely loved writing when there was soft music in the background. A creative writing assignment that was one of my favs was writing based on items on a shoebox. All items had to be incorporated into their stories even if an object became a character.
I left the HS classroom a few years ago and I present workshops to teachers about teaching writing. Also started a site: www.englishteachersfriend.com specifically for middle and high school English teachers. I fought to get a Creative Writing class at our school and I taught it for five years. Got lots of stuff I'd love to share and exchange ideas with.
I am always on the lookout for new ideas that I can share with members.
In my Computer Design class, we are currently incorporating "Spoken Word" poetry into our web-building assignment. The kids are writing free verse, designing a web page around the theme and we are going to videotape them performing their verse for a gift for their parents for Christmas. The poems will be used for the student magazine.
Dear Erika Saunders et al (all the commentators on this subject etc.)
My name is Allen Berg, I am a retired classroom teacher (K-University)but active teacher/writer/artist etc.
I write everyday because it is fun, and it helps me "see" what I am thinking and it helps me organize my thoughts into action plans and projects, as I am doing "write now"... :-)
I keep a journal in a 9x12 Strathmore Sketchbook...
(There are over 90 volumes... over 30 years...)
So I would be happy to start/coordinate/collaborate an Edutopia "Creative Writing" Group for this New Year...
Simply reply to this posting and/or contact me via my Profile link, etc.
I look forward to sharing writing and teaching writing in schools...
The Teacher He
We call Mr. Dude and Major Deadly.
Cracks jokes a lot. He makes me feel good
Even when I’m Unkool or Unsteady.
Talks a lot with his hands flying
and He writes a lot with chalk
all over the blackboard.
Draws a lot of Killer Pictures
and he gives’em to us as Prizes
for doing Best Homework.
Wears John Lennon eyeglasses
and a Harley vest and a bluejean jacket.
Has curly black hair like Dead Spiders.
Wears his pens on his hip
in a holster He made out of leather.
Works us hard a lot
He says “Thinking is Strenuous Activity.”
He tells us stories a lot,
He says He sleeps with his Dictionary
under his pillow.
He says it’s good for his dreams.
But I learn a lot, in his English.
When teaching developmental writing, two of my favorite assignemnts are below. Most students really enjoy these and actually enjoy learning the revision process to make these creative writing assignments as good as possible.
1) Create a children's story in 500 words or less. Your target audience is 4-6 year-old children. Let your characters tell the story; don't get caught up in description. Your story should have a good hook, solid entertaining story, and insightful conclusion.
2) In a series of short poems (rhymed or unrhymed), reflect on your life from childhood to present day. Think of your life in five (5) stages: infancy, early childhood, middle school, high school, present day. You may choose any form of poetry you wish, but you should remain consistent within each poem. For example, if you start rhyming, rhyme throughout. If you begin with blank or free-verse, stay with that choice. Each poem may be a different style.