Teaching Creative Writing to Children

By Zacharias Allred

Teaching creative writing to children is fun and rewarding. Kids naturally love to here stories read to them. As parents many times our children fall to sleep while being read to. Teachers can build a stimulating creative writing program in the classroom by giving the children a desire to write. Here are 5 steps to start a creative writing program.
1. Small beginnings. Start out by finding common topics to the children in the room. Parents, grandparents and pets are usually good examples. Have the students write 5 sentences about the topic. These can fictional and in story form.
2. Dictation. You can get a tape recorder and one by one let the students dictate a story to you. You might find it easier to do without a tape recorder if you can write or type fast enough. On another day you or the child can read the story out loud to the class. This helps the students start to make a connection with hearing stories and making them up.
3. Word processor. Kids take to computers very quickly and most of your students are probably already familiar with them. If possible have them start typing their stories on a computer as soon as possible. Using a word processor is much easier than writing by hand and so the writing will be easier. At first do not be too concerned with grammar, punctuation and spelling. After awhile you can gradually start showing the students how to make capital letters and use some of the grammar and spelling tools offered in most word processors.
4. Idea box. Bring a small box to class and tell the students that this box is only for ideas for stories. Let them know that others in the class will also have access to their story ideas so they may also want their own "idea boxes."
5. Characters. Help the children come up with interesting characters in their writing. Show them stories from authors who are strong on character development. Make the main character likable. An author I like is Louis L'Amour. All of his main characters have high moral values and make honest choices. Of course they get the girl and are expert at everything they do.
Teaching creative writing to children can seem overwhelming at first but when taken in small steps it is not as challenging. Start with basic stories and then work the kids through ideas then into character development. There are other more advanced steps like plot development, editing and publishing but this will get these suggestions will help them get started.
Source: schoolwritingjournal mailing list

1 comment:

lonely 4 ever said...

Hi, I liked the ideas you came up with and I find them very interesting especially, when you talk about the characters and how important it is for the one to choose them carefully. I also like the idea of recording which is very effective because the students are using two skills, writing and listening.

However, I think using computers is not the best choice because students need to learn punctuation and spelling.
And I think you could of use the computers in the publish stage to make their piece of writing appreciated and valued.

Overall I like all the ideas you put and I'm planning to use them in my teaching practice.

Best regards,