Creative Writing Mini-lessons

Over a few years at my kids' elementary school I ran a creative writing club for the students. These are my very rough notes on what I did during various sessions just to get you started. Please email me with questions!

Introduction to the Club!

What is Creative Writing? Dictionary definition is: writing, typically fiction or poetry, which displays imagination or invention.

 

Ask the participants what they think it is.

Give examples:

  • Poetry

  • Plays

  • Movie and television scripts

  • Fiction (novels, novellas, and short stories)

  • Songs

  • Speeches

  • Memoirs

  • Essays

What are the different elements of creative writing?

  • Character development

  • Plot development

  • Vivid setting

  • Underlying theme

  • Point of view

  • Dialogue

  • Anecdotes

  • Metaphors and similes

  • Figures of speech

  • Imaginative language

  • Emotional appeal

  • Heavy description

Can I do it wrong? NO!  Not in this club.

What I don’t care about: spelling, punctuation, grammar. This is all very important stuff but for our purposes in here, we don’t care.

 

How do I get better?

READ

 

Everyone gets a chance to share what they are reading.

Rules

  1. No talking over each other or me.

  2. No talking when someone is reading. Reading is hard. Respect the effort.

  3. No writing nasty or mean things about your friends or other kids.

  4. We are here to write. If you don’t want to do that, you’re in the wrong place.

Writing Exercises #1

  1. Letter to inanimate object – bring in a selection of items (cool paperweight, colorful espresso cups, ceramic figurines, Lego guys, etc). Write a letter to the object. Imagine any sort of personality for it that you want.

  2. Repeat

  3. Make a choice: invisibility or the ability to fly. What are some of the things you would do? Write a paragraph

  4. Free writing - 10 minutes to write about whatever you want!

Writing Exercises #2 - prompts 

  1. What would you do if you were in the middle of the lake and your boat springs a leak?

  2. What would you do if you were the last person on earth?

  3. What would you do if you could fly?

  4. What if you were a snowflake… what would your day be like?

  5. What would you do if you suddenly woke up in another country and no one could understand a word you said?

Writing Exercise #3 - Snow!

 

Snow!

 

How many words can we come up with to describe snow? Or ice? Or being cold? Make a list. Get creative!

 

Animal exercise: pick an animal and write a scene including the animal -use the word snow and a few of the other words from the snow list.

 

Imagine you just woke up and it’s a snow day! What do you do? (visuals?)

 

Writing prompt: I was gazing out the window and suddenly the snowman I built yesterday with my friends starts to move…what happens next?

 

What if you were a snowflake… what would your day be like? Include the words: blizzard, ice and frosty.

Writing Exercises #4 - Fun Words!

Every teacher has had that one student who always has an excuse for why they didn’t do their homework. Get your students’ creative juices flowing by asking them to come up with 10 of the craziest reasons why they couldn’t complete their assignment last night.

Come up with a 'favorite word' list. (this was my example)

 

Bambozzled - to fool or cheat someone.

 

Kerfuffle - to make a fuss or a bother, usually when people have different points of view. 

 

Hullaballoo - loud noises and shouting that people make when they’re angry.

 

Cacophony - mixture of horrible sounds. Imagine birds screeching, alarm bells ringing and babies screaming…and you’ve got yourself a cacophony!

 

Gobbledygook - words that are nonsense or have no meaning.

Use all five words in a paragraph. Get silly!

 

Write a letter to your favorite book or movie character – ask them questions, tell them what you are up to, share your thoughts about their story.

Writing Exercises #5 - prompts

  1. What would you do if you were in the middle of the lake and your boat springs a leak?

  2. What would you do if you were the last person on earth?

  3. What would you do if you could fly?

  4. What if you were a snowflake… what would your day be like?

  5. What would you do if you suddenly woke up in another country and no one could understand a word you said?