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30 Ideas for Teaching Writing

Primary students

❶It can be a character, a room, an important object, or an entire scene. One activity you can do is have kids bring in pieces of writing that mean a lot to them, or pieces of writing they think or exemplary.

Secondary students

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I have taught both a creative writing and an advanced creative writing course. You will probably want to start with assessing where the students already are in their writing skills. Perhaps a grammar quiz or an ungraded I gave students a completion grade writing assignment.

This will help you know where to go with your particular group of students. This was important for my elective classes since I had grades in the same group. Next, a brief overview of the types of creative writing might be helpful. My class worked through basic units. Each unit gave students a taste for that area of writing and usually included some type of fun project.

We made a class newspaper for journalism. We posted the student's articles on large paper and hung the whole thing in the hall. We made a class book which showcased their short stories, fiction, and non-fiction writing. The book then went on display in the library. I used this class to help students explore various aspects of writing and see which one they liked best. I would say to start off the year, you should go over types of creative writing and make sure your students are familiar with those.

Then show them models and analyze the structure of the models so they have an idea of how a creative writer structures his works. For the writing, I would suggest starting off small. Do a few exercises at the beginning to get them comfortable. Show them a picture or series of pictures and ask them to explain the story behind it.

This will get them using their imaginations. Joyce explains one metawriting strategy: After reading each essay, he selects one error that occurs frequently in a student's work and points out each instance in which the error is made. He instructs the student to write a one page essay, comparing and contrasting three sources that provide guidance on the established use of that particular convention, making sure a variety of sources are available.

Glorianne Bradshaw, a teacher-consultant with the Red River Valley Writing Project North Dakota , decided to make use of experiences from her own life when teaching her first-graders how to write. For example, on an overhead transparency she shows a sketch of herself stirring cookie batter while on vacation. She writes the phrase "made cookies" under the sketch. Then she asks students to help her write a sentence about this. She writes the words who , where , and when.

Using these words as prompts, she and the students construct the sentence, "I made cookies in the kitchen in the morning. Next, each student returns to the sketch he or she has made of a summer vacation activity and, with her help, answers the same questions answered for Bradshaw's drawing. Then she asks them, "Tell me more.

Do the cookies have chocolate chips? Does the pizza have pepperoni? Rather than taking away creativity, Bradshaw believes this kind of structure gives students a helpful format for creativity. Stephanie Wilder found that the grades she gave her high school students were getting in the way of their progress.

The weaker students stopped trying. Other students relied on grades as the only standard by which they judged their own work. She continued to comment on papers, encourage revision, and urge students to meet with her for conferences. But she waited to grade the papers. It took a while for students to stop leafing to the ends of their papers in search of a grade, and there was some grumbling from students who had always received excellent grades. But she believes that because she was less quick to judge their work, students were better able to evaluate their efforts themselves.

Erin Pirnot Ciccone, teacher-consultant with the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project , found a way to make more productive the "Monday morning gab fest" she used as a warm-up with her fifth grade students. She conceived of "Headline News. After the headlines had been posted, students had a chance to guess the stories behind them. The writers then told the stories behind their headlines.

As each student had only three minutes to talk, they needed to make decisions about what was important and to clarify details as they proceeded. They began to rely on suspense and "purposeful ambiguity" to hold listeners' interest. On Tuesday, students committed their stories to writing. Because of the "Headline News" experience, Ciccone's students have been able to generate writing that is focused, detailed, and well ordered. Slagle, high school teacher and teacher-consultant with the Louisville Writing Project Kentucky , understands the difference between writing for a hypothetical purpose and writing to an audience for real purpose.

She illustrates the difference by contrasting two assignments. Write a review of an imaginary production of the play we have just finished studying in class. They must adapt to a voice that is not theirs and pretend to have knowledge they do not have. Slagle developed a more effective alternative: Authenticity in Writing Prompts. Mark Farrington, college instructor and teacher-consultant with the Northern Virginia Writing Project , believes teaching revision sometimes means practicing techniques of revision.

An exercise like "find a place other than the first sentence where this essay might begin" is valuable because it shows student writers the possibilities that exist in writing.

In his college fiction writing class, Farrington asks students to choose a spot in the story where the main character does something that is crucial to the rest of the story. At that moment, Farrington says, they must make the character do the exact opposite. Bernadette Lambert, teacher-consultant with the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project Georgia , wondered what would happen if she had her sixth-grade students pair with an adult family member to read a book.

She asked the students about the kinds of books they wanted to read mysteries, adventure, ghost stories and the adults about the kinds of books they wanted to read with the young people character-building values, multiculturalism, no ghost stories. Using these suggestions for direction, Lambert developed a list of 30 books. From this list, each student-adult pair chose one. They committed themselves to read and discuss the book and write separate reviews.

Most of the students, says Lambert, were proud to share a piece of writing done by their adult reading buddy.

Several admitted that they had never before had this level of intellectual conversation with an adult family member. Suzanne Linebarger, a co-director of the Northern California Writing Project , recognized that one element lacking from many of her students' stories was tension. One day, in front of the class, she demonstrated tension with a rubber band. Looped over her finger, the rubber band merely dangled.

It's the tension, the potential energy, that rivets your attention. It's the same in writing. Linebarger revised a generic writing prompt to add an element of tension. The initial prompt read, "Think of a friend who is special to you. Write about something your friend has done for you, you have done for your friend, or you have done together.

Linebarger didn't want responses that settled for "my best friend was really good to me," so "during the rewrite session we talked about how hard it is to stay friends when met with a challenge. Students talked about times they had let their friends down or times their friends had let them down, and how they had managed to stay friends in spite of their problems.

In other words, we talked about some tense situations that found their way into their writing. Moving From Fluency to Flair. Ray Skjelbred, middle school teacher at Marin Country Day School, wants his seventh grade students to listen to language. He wants to begin to train their ears by asking them to make lists of wonderful sounding words. They may use their own words, borrow from other contributors, add other words as necessary, and change word forms.

Among the words on one student's list: Grammar, Poetry, and Creative Language. Kathleen O'Shaughnessy, co-director of the National Writing Project of Acadiana Louisiana , asks her middle school students to respond to each others' writing on Post-it Notes.

Students attach their comments to a piece of writing under consideration. While I was reading your piece, I felt like I was riding a roller coaster. It started out kinda slow, but you could tell there was something exciting coming up. But then it moved real fast and stopped all of a sudden. I almost needed to read it again the way you ride a roller coaster over again because it goes too fast.

Says O'Shaughnessy, "This response is certainly more useful to the writer than the usual 'I think you could, like, add some more details, you know? Anna Collins Trest, director of the South Mississippi Writing Project , finds she can lead upper elementary school students to better understand the concept of "reflection" if she anchors the discussion in the concrete and helps students establish categories for their reflective responses.

She decided to use mirrors to teach the reflective process. Each student had one. As the students gazed at their own reflections, she asked this question: Get an overall feel for the institution for which you plan to apply, as well as the professors who will likely interview you and who you'll be working with if you're hired.

One candidate used his prior experience to learn the names of his interviewers and what works they had published. On many of his interviews, he was complimented for being the only candidate to have an interest in his interviewers' work. Assemble a submission package. While you should send the institution you're applying to the materials it asks for, most submission packages should include the following: A 2-page summary of your credentials, written in a clear, captivating style and tailored to the position you're applying for.

If you're already teaching writing somewhere, you can use the letterhead of the institution you're presently teaching at. Your CV should list your education, teaching experience, list of publications, service, list of references with contact information, and availability of letters of recommendation.

Although you don't have to list every last publication, your CV should be comprehensive. Unlike a business resume, which is typically 1 to 2 pages in length, a CV can be whatever length it needs to be to cover everything significant you've done.

Choose your best writing sample that is most appropriate to the institution you're applying to, preferably a book if you have one and can afford to send a copy to each institution you're applying to. You should have 4 to 8 letters of recommendation from professors and other writers who know your work and are familiar with your teaching style. The letters should be written as close to the time you start applying for positions as possible; allow 6 weeks' time for your recommender to draft the letter.

Letters should be sent to the career center of your current institution or to the dossier service run by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs AWP if you're applying for your first position. Not always required, but many institutions require a transcript as a quick means to verify that you actually earned the degrees you claim to hold. Prepare support materials for the interview. Have such materials as a course syllabus, evaluations, or a written version of your teaching philosophy ready if you're asked for them at any time during the interview process.

Your travel expenses to a college campus are usually covered by the institution, but you'll have to pay your own way to the MLA convention. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Tips You may find it helpful to have writing experience outside the field or genre for which you plan to apply.

Skills in journalism and grant writing can be particularly beneficial. Warnings Competition for tenure-track creative writing teaching positions can be fierce, due to the number of MFA and PhD programs in creative writing and the number of graduates from those programs who have published their work.

It's helpful to prepare as fully as possible, while also considering other options for using your degree, such as advertising or working for a publishing house.

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2. Establish an email dialogue between students from different schools who are reading the same book. When high school teacher Karen Murar and college instructor Elaine Ware, teacher-consultants with the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, discovered students were scheduled to read the August Wilson play Fences at the same time, they set up email communication between students to allow .

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HOW TO TEAH REATIVE WRITING Source - http: // General How to Teach Creative Writing to Middle School Students Creative Writing Ideas for Teens The Best Writing Prompt Ideas for Middle Schoolers and Teenagers Creative Writing Ideas for Middle School Students High School How to Teach Creative Writing to High School Students.

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The experiment suggests that the trend toward teaching creative writing was hurting American students. What the Best Writing Teachers Know. A high school student . Creative Writing Class for High School. Help!! I am teaching Creative Writing for the first time to high school students and have no idea where to begin.

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Dec 17,  · How to Prepare to Teach Creative Writing. If you plan to teach creative writing at the high school level, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree and a teaching certificate, while if you plan to teach at the college level, you'll need to have at least a master's degree and perhaps a PhD. In addition to student teaching during your 75%(4). How to teach creative writing Students doing creative writing at A-level need to work in a whole range of written forms and genres including creative non-fiction and web content. They.