Thursday, September 10, 2009

Creative writing

Creative writing and its all about Imaginations and word play. How often we tell our children to be Creative? Make them listen to stories? Do we encourage Creative writing?

Well, if you aren't doing so, quick get to tell them tales and let their imaginations soar. Ask them to write book reviews and yes, narratives. This will help them build their vocabulary with steps leading to gradually writing with flair and creativity.

Bruce Van Patter, a Creative writing Motivator and Expert says, "It’s good to step back and ask, “Why do kids need to write narratives, anyway?” This is especially important to ask as students get older and creative writing gets supplanted by more “practical” writing, like informative and persuasive essays. There are many reasons to continue the writing of stories. Creative writing fires up the imagination. It trains an observational eye. And throughout one’s life, there are stories that need to be told – how much more of an impact they’ll have if one can tell them well."

Kids love stories - Most of them love to listen to stories rather than couch sit and read. Narratives are often fumbling but making sketches of the characters or drawing an imaginary nature scene encourages them to engage in creative activity. Story starters is a good way to help kids explore - Imagine, get ideas and discuss with friends. Let them have fun for a while but before they begin to pen down, give them words. Let them make a list of words, rhyme words, descriptive words or verbal words. Choose Topics that you can think of, or just log to Bruce Van Patter's Story Kitchen.

Children are always interested and excited in a group activity. Communication plays a big role. Class Interaction often reveals bright ideas and active learning start up initiatives. It all needs to trigger those Sparks and like stirring poetry soup, encourage writing with How to write a Story.
It is very important to focus on the Attitude of writing apart from creating characters, plot, theme - an Attitude of positive or a negative style of writing. While I took creative sessions of creating own stories in Swagat classroom, I have noticed, some children click a negative picture and even end up using harsh, abusive words. Positively talking of negative, being practical and finding solutions is a part to be taken care of.

A few tips may help Teachers here in helping kids to write Creatively:

1. Build Vocabulary : Give vocabulary assignments. 10 words in a sheet - Ask kids to make 10 sheets. Ask them to share their sheets with each other.

2. Play Word Games : Arrange for Word Games session. Playing word search, cross words, scrabble or even group games like memory games with words or even fun by spotting words in classroom.

3. Think of Topics : Essential part is to choose topics for creative writing. Create interesting topics ranging from picnic, hobbies, school, sports, fairy tales - anything that interest children. A glance to poetry soup for topics or at Bruce Van Patter's Story Kitchen.

4. Build stories: Let children think, imagine, discuss within themselves or with you and outline stories. Brainstorming sessions will encourage as they imagine to build stories. Encourage them to use words and sentences - sentences that can go with direct or indirect speech.

5. Style of Writing : Help them with the Positive writing style. Attitude is all that counts everywhere.

6. Moral : A moral of the story is an important part. Help children to write the moral of the story. What their story carry a message? How does the story inspire? etc.

7. Sharing : Creative writing does not come easy for younger students. Begin with narratives, later to writing on their own. You can use Bruce Van Patter's Story Kitchen - Circulate the print outs as Bruce starts the stories and kids got to finish it. Email Bruce Van Patter once the child completes the story. You can even email Kidsfreesouls!

Sundays are great to talk to kids. Help them to Imagine, dream stories to weave or just give them a 'Story Time Hour' with a room filled with books - easy to read - and let them write down reviews. Enroll them to Swagat if you are in Ahmedabad or if you in Pennsylvania (US), Email Bruce Van Patterfor Creative writing Presentations/Programs in schools or get to his store for resources/subscribe his newsletter Sparklers. Enjoy!

- ilaxi patel
Author of Guardian of Angels

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for a bunch of good tips. I look forward to reading more on the topic in the future. Keep up the good work! This blog is going to be great resource. Love reading it.
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