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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Creative Writing

Creative Writing

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I teach high school creative writing. I was wondering if anyone out there would be interested in exchanging ideas?

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

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Erika Saunders's picture
Erika Saunders
6th-8th Special Ed, LS & Mentally Gifted teacher

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!

Erika Saunders

Jennifer Holcombe's picture
Jennifer Holcombe
After School care at the Austin Discovery School (Challenge School)

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.

Dawn Baxter's picture

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.

Tamara Doehring's picture
Tamara Doehring
Former teacher turned writer, trainer, entreprenuer

Hi Lisa,
I left the HS classroom a few years ago and I present workshops to teachers about teaching writing. Also started a site: 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.

Deb Kelley's picture
Deb Kelley
Tampa, FL Gifted Education Computer Design Teacher / Yearbook Advisor

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.

Allen Berg's picture
Allen Berg
curriculum and projects learning centers

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...

Allen Berg

Allen Berg's picture
Allen Berg
curriculum and projects learning centers

The Teacher He

We call Mr. Dude and Major Deadly.

The Teacher He

Cracks jokes a lot. He makes me feel good

Even when I'm Unkool or Unsteady.

The Teacher He

Talks a lot with his hands flying

and He writes a lot with chalk

all over the blackboard.

The Teacher He

Draws a lot of Killer Pictures

and he gives'em to us as Prizes

for doing Best Homework.

The Teacher He

Wears John Lennon eyeglasses

and a Harley vest and a bluejean jacket.

The Teacher He

Has curly black hair like Dead Spiders.

The Teacher He

Wears his pens on his hip

in a holster He made out of leather.

The Teacher He

Works us hard a lot

He says "Thinking is Strenuous Activity."

The Teacher He

He tells us stories a lot,

He says He sleeps with his Dictionary

under his pillow.

He says it's good for his dreams.

The Teacher He

He's weird...

But I learn a lot, in his English.

Katherine Judd's picture
Katherine Judd
College writing and communications teacher

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.

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