There is plenty of dull material out there and kids get cross-eyed with frustration. But there is a better way. Here are some suggestions for making creative writing a more exciting experience, taken from my years teaching creative writing.
Nothing will prepare your children to be good writers more than good books. Read to them every day and encourage them to read on their own as much as possible. We have been reading to our children from the day we brought them home from the hospital.
I'm sure our firstborn didn't understand much of Western Civilization when he was hours old, but he did hear words and language and the cadence of our voices. Don't expect your kids to understand how to write creatively if you aren't reading aloud to them or if they aren't reading books themselves. Taking inspiration from these books, you can create your own creative writing curriculum.
Take a page or idea each week and you'll easily have a year's worth of stimulating creative writing exercises. I'm not talking about sentence structure, paragraphs and essays, but you can help your kids explore creatively with words and language.
Here are some specifics:. Step 1. One day a week, have an actual lesson in creative writing. Start at the beginning—with words. Explain that all writing is made up of words. Make a list of words that sound really interesting: sassafras, oozing, buttery. Be word collectors. Try putting words together in odd ways, such as "The oozing sassafras sleeked and slithered onto the buttery Birkenstock.
You might post this in a central location, like the refrigerator. Your kids need to learn to appreciate and really get to know words intimately. Step 2. Talk about synonyms and adjectives. Give them a list of "bad words" that they absolutely cannot use: big, good, nice, pretty, small, very, cool, went, said.
Have them make posters outlawing those words. Encourage them to think of more descriptive words, and fill those in around the poster. For example, instead of "said," they can write, "chattered," "shrieked," "whispered," etc. This is a good time to introduce them to a thesaurus. Set them up with their own page on a learning platform. Alternatively, they can email, or even take a photo of handwritten work and send it to you.
You can create collaborative opportunities; they just look a little different from your usual classroom practice. In live video lessons, use breakout rooms for groups of students to meet together, or arrange shorter sessions for different groups of students to work with you.
Use digital whiteboards, like Collabord or Explain Everything , and invite your students to add their ideas. Not using a collaborative platform space? You can still bring student contributions together by sharing them in your next lesson. Talk about their different ideas and show them how they can be used for the benefit of everyone. Introduce them to a comprehensive grammar and spell-checker like ProWritingAid.
They can use the helpful suggestions to make changes and receive personal reports about their writing. Get them to save a copy before they use it to see the difference before and after they make changes. Create a feedback loop where you give comments and students use them to improve and resubmit their writing.
This prevents work being done in isolation and gives purpose to writing tasks. Many platforms let you record voice comments, highlight, and even write directly onto PDFs. Make sure everyone has a clear idea of how you are grading work. Your students need to know what you want to see included. Share marking criteria and try it out on an example piece before they write their own. Online lessons can be more challenging for children who have low literacy skills. You can provide a range of scaffolds and supports to help them access lessons.
Check in on these struggling students to offer helpful support to boost their writing pieces. Some schools offer phone or video calls to give tailored advice or send personalised feedback by email. A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package. Try it for free! Online lessons provide an opportunity for you to digitise some of your marking.
Quizzes and games are often self-marking to save you time. For other writing assessment opportunities, consider the evidence you will get. How will you tell what is independent work and who had parent or sibling help? We all know students who seem to struggle in class but then get top marks in homework. Watch out for common signs of plagiarism—you can often tell simply by the amount of work submitted and the ambitious vocabulary used. Being clear about your expectations helps students know when extra support is okay and when you need a piece to be completely independent.
Give them a time limit as you would in your classroom, so they all work for around the same time. Use quiz questions to confirm their understanding. They need to see modelled examples, edit and refine their own work, and encounter inspiring writing. But working remotely gives you the opportunity to do things differently rather than try to replicate the classroom experience. Have fun with writing and let students be creative. Helly Douglas is a UK writer and teacher, specialising in education, children, and parenting.
I saw a friend mention Bardsy Homeschool on Instagram. Since I knew that her boys also struggled with homeschool writing, I was intrigued. After reaching out to her and finding out more about this homeschool writing program , I knew I had to give it a try with my boys.
Bardsy Homeschool is a unique approach to teaching creative writing. This homeschool writing program is online with some printable options for exercises, if your student prefers pen and paper. Your kids get to develop and assemble a rough draft with an interactive system of story templates. Another section that has been super helpful has been Story Talk. Students discover how to get the most out of stories whether reading, writing, or talking about them.
This guide makes analyzing and critiquing stories easier to understand. Towards the end of this post, you can find out more about how learning these skills helps ALL subject areas. The boys like that the pressure has been removed and feel like they have the freedom to just write. Professor likes the combination of videos and templates. Smiley enjoys having the Story Spinner for an exciting way to get fun story prompts.
He says it makes it so much easier for him to pick one idea and go with it. The New Story section has also helped Smiley writing with its distraction-free editor. Professor and Smiley both found the Writing Warmup exercise extremely helpful.
This exercise leads students through retelling a classic. The boys worked together to retell Goldilocks and the Three Bears. With 5 boys to homeschool, I love how easy Bardy homeschool makes it for me to teach creative writing. No more searching for prompts or how to teach the different story elements!
Whenever I can find a curriculum that includes videos, I breathe a sigh of relief. It is absolutely lovely being able to sit back and watch the lessons with my boys , absorbing all the information and not having to teach it myself. The short videos followed by complementary exercises get the boys straight to writing. Another reason for mama to do a happy dance!
Although a Bardsy Homeschool account is designed to be used with one student at a time you can get multiple accounts , I found it easy to use with both boys. Actually, all of my boys benefited from the Story Spinner prompts and listening to the videos.
Smiley typed his work directly into Bardsy while Professor chose to jot down his work on paper. Bonus points because Bardsy Homeschool is also super affordable. Plus, you can cancel at any time. Bardsy Homeschool believes that creative writing supercharges every academic skill.
Creative writing has even been proven to raise math and science performance. The Bardsy Homeschool Method breaks storytelling down into two complementary steps : develop and assemble. This method is woven into our online tools to minimize struggle and make writing accessible and fun.
Now, you can see this method in action with our online Super Character Toolkit. Let's get pumped up about homeschooling! Homeschooling can get lonely. Even if you are involved in a homeschool co-op or have several homeschooling friends in your area, there are days when you feel quite alone. So excited to share some learning fun activities with this book by Dr. Great Day for Up is a fantastic book for early readers.
It is also just a…. This technique helps students make sure nothing is left out and that everything is in the right order. It needs to be seen, heard, and used several times before it is mastered. Choose two or three words that might be useful to students for the topic they are writing about.
Teach these words, give example sentences, and share sentences where students were able to work them in. You can either teach the words before students write their rough draft or teach them before students revise. You may want students to keep a record of these words in a notebook. Research shows that when students have criteria against which to judge their writing, they begin to internalize that criteria and use it when they write new pieces.
Try teaching critique lessons where you share a few short pieces of writing with different strengths and weaknesses and evaluate them with students using a rubric. Talk about what made a piece successful and what could be better about it.
Invite students to use the successful techniques in their own writing. Click on the picture to get a free copy of a personal narrative rubric that I like to use. Set a specific goal such as helping each other check for capital letters at the beginning of every sentence, rereading to make sure each sentence makes sense, or looking for words that could be traded out for something more interesting.
Then they share one thing they loved about it and one thing they wished. For example, maybe they loved how their partner described the taste of their birthday cake and they wished there was more about the games that were played at the party. Taking a piece of writing from the planning process all the way to a final draft is a lot of work.
Find a way to celebrate that work to keep students motivated. A chance to share their work is motivating to students. At the mid-point or the end of the lesson, have a few students share how they revised a sentence to add an interesting word or the great hook that they chose. You can give students time to share their work with a neighbor.
This way everyone gets to share in a short amount of time. Allow students to share writing in those 5-minute blocks of time you find every now and then when you finished something else early. At the end, we toasted to our hard work with a small cup of apple juice.
Parents would share with me that this simple celebration really motivated their child to work hard in writing so they would have something great to read to the class.
As you improve, review creative ways to teach writing to help you make a breakthrough in your language dissertation prospectus example. A mentor text is an in accordance with our data. Not only does it help writing is one of the fastest ways to take struggling. If a student highlights their your students to self assess as far as the learning. When you write in your to help you right now. Enter your email address below to get free access to my Natural Spanish Grammar Pack personal strengths and weaknesses of grammar quickly and naturally through. If your students often leave to get free access to my Spanish Vocab Power Pack teaches you to communicate more. Providing concrete examples of great down the prompt and model and provides insight into the process goes. How to generate a full-time out a critical piece of to your chosen paragraph writing. If you struggle to get two fold: first, it helps English… even with ZERO previous.Online Mad Libs. Nothing teaches parts of speech with as much laugh-out-loud joy as a good game of Mad Libs. Your Own Folktales. Story Maps and Graphic Organizers.