Creative Writing Activities for all
You can organize creative writing activities in your classroom about any topic and
with students of all ages. Below, you can see some examples we have done in our
classes or have gathered from different resources. Will you try them?
1. Create a story
Preparation: Have students choose three numbers (from 1 to 10). Each number
corresponds to an item on the list below. The first number is the character their
stories are to focus on, the second number is the setting for their stories, and so
Assignment: Write a story with the character, setting, time period, and situation that
you've chosen. The character that you've chosen should be the main character in the
story, but isn't necessarily the ONLY character in the story. Likewise, most of the
story will take place in the setting that you've chosen, but you can include other
settings or elaborate on the setting that you have chosen (breaking it into several
smaller settings, for example). The situation or challenge that you've chosen may
involve the main character or your main character may observe someone else who
must deal with the situation or challenge. In other words, you can combine these
elements anyway that you desire, so long as all four are included in your story.
a new mother
a recent high school graduate
a restaurant owner or manager
an alien from outer space
a homeless child
a 93-year-old woman
a jazz musician
near a National Forest
a wedding reception
a celebration party
an expensive restaurant
a shopping mall
a city park
the porch of an old farmhouse
a polluted stream
a concert hall
during a forest fire
after a fig\ht
the night of high school graduation
after a big meal
sometime in December
late at night
after a big thunderstorm has passed
in early spring
first week of the school year
during a concert
an important decision needs to be made
a secret needs to be confessed to someone else
someone's pride has been injured
a death has occurred
someone has found or lost something
someone has accused someone else of doing something wrong
reminiscing on how things have changed
someone feels like giving up
something embarrassing has just happened
someone has just reached an important goal
2. Random words
Choose 15 words from a dictionary randomly. Then write these words in a list and try
to create a poem using at least 10 of the words. When you have your poem, create a
story that incorporates the themes and images that are included in the poem.
3. A story with a newspaper
Choose 5 of the newspapers titles below and compose a creative story with all of
*These are only examples, new will be added when the course runs.
Usually, students will think it is very difficult. You just need to encourage them and
the result will be wonderful and most of the times funny!
4. "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." Andy
Discuss about the above quote, what it means to be famous? Who is famous? What
reason for? Would you like to be famous? How would you feel in that case? Write a
text where you will describe in what thing you would like to be famous!
An example by Silvana Turchinovich Petercol, member of the Creative Classroom
l would like to be a Minister of Education and eliminate or change a lot of the
unnecessary stuff that kids memorize at school and will never need in life... I would
like to introduce a new subject that would teach little children in kindergartens,
pupils in primary schools and students later on, how to love and accept themselves
exactly as they are. To start appreciating the beautiful gift that life has given them,
Italians head for beach
as clouds gather
My auntie Marilyn
Monroe: niece reveals
her childhood memories
of the Hollywood legend
Touching tribute: Judo star
Gemma Gibbons has her Olympic flowers laid at her mother's grave
Safety fears hinder
outdoor play, says survey
Fishermen stunned by 15lbs trout
caught at Bale Lake
Paralyzed rats walk again, thanks
to electricity, chemicals and
of the future
Mystery of lost Roman city
solved: Ancients greened the
to really love themselves for being born and being alive, without feelings of sadness,
or guilt, but only love and empathy... I would introduce a subject that would teach
them how to read inside themselves and to be able to solve the things that their
parents were not able to, to stand up again when life hits, and to share to the world
the beauty of their uniqueness... a beautiful subject that would teach them how to
cope with life...through the love for the others and for themselves...
5. Lets talk about a historical figure
Pick up a historical figure that you know some things about him/her and complete
the sentences below to write a short story.
The phrases are:
The thing I regret most about my life is..
If I could accomplish one more thing, I would
The accomplishment that Im proud of is.
If I could live anywhere in the world, I would choose..
The saddest moment in life was when..
My favourite childhood memory is.
The thing that scares me the most is
6. Writing a story based on adverts
In the back of many books, there are often adverts for other stories. Why not get the children to choose one of these adverts, and write a story based on the description of the story in the advert. They don't need to have read the book which is being advertised, and you can get them to compare their own story to the real version when they have finished.
7. Name Characters This is using art and creative writing. Fold a piece of paper in half and on the fold line write your name. Cut around the outside shape of your name. Open your name and you will have a shape based on your letters. Colour and design your shape into a character. Glue your finished character to a piece of construction paper. Write a descriptive paragraph about your character as if it is an alien arriving here on earth for the first time. Give it a name, place of origin, reason for being here, etc.
8. Who are they? Cut photographs of people from magazines and ask the children to pick two or three of them. Write about who the people are, what their lives are like, and how they
might know each other. It would also be fun to place the pictures of people in a geographic location and ask the children to write about what they are doing there. A variation on this theme would be to go out to a park or cafe and do some people watching. Pick some people and make quick notes about them - how did they look, what were they wearing. Then write a story about them when you get home.
9. Make an ideas jar Cut out slips of paper and write a word or two on each - blue/smooth/frosty/loved. Get the children to pick three to five words and make up a story using them
10. Do a scavenger hunt Make a bag filled with items you find either on a nature walk or around the house. You could set a theme such as ten blue items, or items that weigh less than a certain amount. Gather the items together and try to weave them all into a story.
11. Acrostic Poems Acrostic poems are a great way to get kids started on writing poetry. In this poem form, the letters that make up a word are used as the first letter of each line of the poem. Each line should relate to the acrostic word. Begin by showing your kids examples of acrostic poems, and then have them write their own. To choose a word to begin your poems, look to the seasons, holidays or nature for inspiration. For younger students, keep the word fairly short; four or five letters is plenty.
12. Art Stories Find photographs of famous works of art. Allow your students to choose a painting and write a story based on what they see in the picture. Ask them to think about what may have happened just before what they see in the picture, and what they think may have happened just after. It is interesting to have several students write about the same picture, as you will likely get several very different stories. (use a comic software)
13. A Message in a Bottle
In this activity, each student will create an imaginary tale of travel and adventure. You need:
maps of the world, atlases plastic bottles with caps (one for each child writing a tale) water table, fish tank, or large basin (optional)
1. Tell children that each of them is going to write a tale about an imaginary adventure or trip that has left him or her stranded on a desert island. Explain that the only chance for rescue is to write a message, put it in a bottle, and put the bottle
in the water, with the hope that someone will find it. 2. Brainstorm with children the kind of information they should include in their tales. For example, they might want to explain who they are, where they were going when they got stranded, where they came from, and how they were travelling. They should also include information about where they are, such as the climate, what the island is like, what plants and animals they have seen, and how they are surviving. Record their suggestions on the board or on chart paper. 3. When children are ready to begin writing, make maps and/or atlases available to them. They can refer to the maps if they need help planning their trips or spelling the names of places they might want to include in their tales. 4. When students have finished, have them place the tales in the bottles and set the bottles afloat in a water table (or whatever container of water you have available). 5. Then have each student fish a bottle (not his or her own) out of the water and read aloud the tale within. After each tale is read, students can rescue the author by using maps and story details to find approximately where he or she is stranded.
If your class is studying a certain area of the world in social studies, you may want to have the students write about being stranded on desert islands off the coasts of countries within that region. You may want to make arrangements to have your tales sent there. Then the students in that class can try to locate the writer of each tale. Your class could do the same with tales from the students in the other class.
14. Make Family Comic Strips
Children will make comic strips about funny events that have taken place in their families. You need:
Examples of newspaper comic strips (especially those about families) Coloured pencils and markers, crayons Rulers Display some examples of newspaper comic strips. Explain that each strip tells a funny story in a series of boxes, or panels. You may want to work through one or more of the comic strips to be sure children understand the different components (a title, the cartoonists name, a series of sequenced panels containing humorous drawings of characters in action, the characters speech balloons). Ask each child to think of an especially funny incident or event that happened in his or her family, and then to make a comic strip about it. Suggest that children follow these steps: Decide how many panels you will need. Use a ruler to draw the panel boxes on construction paper. Add your illustrations and speech balloons. Give your comic strip a title. Write your name next to the title.
Collect the childrens comic strips and hang them around the classroom for everyone to enjoy. 15. Be an Incredible Songwriter!
Each student will write a song about something incredible and then perform the song for the class. You Need:
Writing paper and pencils A pretend microphone (perhaps a chalkboard eraser) Small, portable musical instruments of the students choice (optional)
1. Tell students that you would like them to become songwriters and stage singers for a day. First, have them think of something incredible that they have experienced or know about. This might be an event, a feeling, an idea, a dream, or an amazing animal. 2. Next, ask the students to write the lyrics, or words, to a song about their chosen incredible subjects. Give them the option of writing the words to fit a familiar tune or mentally composing a new tune. Encourage students who have small musical instruments (e.g., flutes, maracas, harmonicas) to plan to play those instruments during their performances. 3. Finally, have students take turns performing their songs for the class. Prompt them to make their singing performances as exciting as possible by including dance steps, arm gestures, and exaggerated facial expressions.
16. Color Coded
Ask students to write a short story that begins with the word "blue," and in which the first word of every paragraph is a color. Use the "color word" only once in each paragraph, but suggest the color in as many ways as possible. For example:
The world had turned grey. Nothing but mud and asphalt surrounded the unpainted house, little more than a box made of concrete blocks. Charlie, dressed in faded work pants, rubber boots, and a thick wool sweater, steadied himself with a hand on the top rail of a weathered cedar fence. Behind him, nothing but ash-coloured sky, bare trees, and plumes of smoke belching from the factory in the distance. A lone sparrow rested on a branch, one beady eye watching.
17. Turn a poem into a short story
A poem uses tight language to convey emotional or intellectual ideas in an imaginative and new way. A single poem can provide a rich source of creative writing
ideas for students, who can use specifics in the poem as a starting point for a narrative. Using the poem of their choice for inspiration, have students create a character, a setting, a situation, and a character goal, from the poem and write a short story. 18. Alphabetical Sentence
To spark new and unusual ideas, have students work alone or in small groups to write a sentence where each subsequent word begins with the next letter of the alphabet. For instance:
"Acids, bases, compounds" Dorothy explains, "for group homework." Instantly jaded, knowing long monosyllabic nonsense oozes, pupils quickly revolt.
Have students go on for as long as they are able (X,Y, Z can get a little tricky), and then if you like, have them work in the reverse direction. Or ask them to use the idea, setting, or character that resulted to write a short piece of fiction. Such limited constraints will sometimes yield fresh and surprising concepts or descriptions.
19. Writing Traditional Stories from a Different Point of View
Read "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs" (by Jon Scieszka) with the children. This tells the "Three Little Pigs" story from the wolf's point of view.
Ask the children to think of a story that they know well, and to write another version from another point of view.
e.g. Write "Cinderella" from the point of view of one of the ugly sisters.