Teaching Creative Writing School-based Curriculum Development (Secondary) and Language Support Section Please sit in groups of four!
Matching Game Why do we write? -Activity Sheet Part 1
Purpose of writing • Communicate with each other • Record information which last over time • Present information, ideas and feelings for a variety of purposes and audiences • Enhance oral development and reinforce the language structures and vocabulary that learners acquire • Develop students’ communication • Demonstrate one’s creativity and critical thinking • Inform, influence and entertain others <Draft> English Language Curriculum Guide (P.1-6), p.141
Process of writing Activate knowledge Take in information Generate ideas Organize and reorganize ideas/ Recreate meanings
What are the writing skills to be developed for KS1 and KS2? • Using the basic conventions of English • Presenting information, ideas and feelings clearly and coherently <Draft> English Language Curriculum Guide (P.1-6), p.54
Stages of writing In primary schools, learners go through four stages in developing their writing skills, i.e. • Copying • Controlled writing • Guided writing • Independent writing
Development of writing skills through task-based activities • Have a context • Have a purpose • Involve learners in thinking and doing • Learners draw upon their framework of knowledge and skills • Purposeful activities lead to a product
Approaches of writing • Parallel writing • Modelled writing • Shared and interactive writing • Experiential writing • Creative writing • Process writing…etc
Creativity and creative writing
What is creative writing? Definition: Creative writing is writing that expresses the writer's thoughts and feelings in an imaginative, often unique, and poetic way. Creative writing is guided more by the writer's need to express feelings and ideas than by restrictive demands of factual and logical progression of expository writing. http://www.sil.org/lingualinks/literacy/ReferenceMaterials/GlossaryOfLiteracyTerms/WhatIsCreativeWriting.htm
What is creativity? Different definitions: • It is the ability to produce original ideas and solve problems • It is the result of a complex of cognitive skills/abilities, personality factors, motivation, strategies and metacognitive skill. <Draft> English Language Curriculum Guide (P.1-6), p.69
Elements of creativity • Flexibility • Fluency • Originality • Elaboration • Sensitivity to problems • Problem defining • Visualization • Analogical thinking • Transformation • Attribute listing • Synectics
What can teachers do to develop learners’ creativity? • Choose interesting topics for students • Ask them to go beyond the given information • Allow them time to think • Reward their creative efforts • Value their creative attributes • Teach them creative thinking techniques • Create a climate conducive to creativity
Conducive environment for developing learners’ creativity • Respect the novel and unusual • Provide challenges • Appreciate individuality and openness • Encourage open discussion • Absence of conflicts • Allow time for thinking • Encourage confidence and willingness to take risk • Appreciate and support new ideas <Draft> English Language Curriculum Guide (P.1-6), p.69
“A comfortable and resourceful teaching environment is very important for initiating creativity. And more important is teachers should provide students with a pressure-free, harmonic, free and encouraging environment so that students will be able to express freely.In developing students’ creativity, teachers should allow mistakes.” Timberlake 1982, Chan 1988, Lee 1992
Strategies for teaching creative writing (1)
1. Three-minute Fast Write Activity sheet – Part 3 Write down anything you can remember from the story of “The tortoise and the hare”. 1, 2, 3….go!!!!!
The tortoise and the hare Can’t swim, clever, find a bridge, jump, easy,cool, proud Swim well, comfortable, enjoying, Swimming competition arrive first, rest, laugh, silly proud
Three-minute Fast Write + Transformation = A new version of the story
Why using “Fast Write”? • First thought on a starting point are often the most original and powerful ones • A daily fluency exercise • Helps students get started on an assignment Remember: Accuracy is not emphasized at this stage!
2. Thematic Tree • Start with a common theme • Reflect on the theme • Develop sub-themes • Keep on thinking relevant ideas
Theme: My Flat Rooms in the flat Things put in the rooms Things to do in each room
My flat 1 living room 1 kitchen 2 bedrooms 1 toilet 1 dining room computer, toys, bed, lamp, cupboards, pillow, … TV, sofa, cupboards, coffee table, lamp… stove, sink, pans, cupboards, kettle, cups, plates… towels, toothbrush, soap, toilet, bathtub table, chairs, vase, pictures… watch TV, read books, rest …
Now, write about your“Dream House” • How many rooms do you want? • Besides toilet, bedrooms, dining room, sitting room and kitchen, do you want any other rooms/things in your house? • What do you want to put into different rooms? • What do you want to do in those rooms? • Who do you want to live with?...
Why using “Thematic Tree”? • Encourage students to think of something in different perspectives builds up students’ flexibility more ideas generated for writing • Help students structure their writing
3. Multi-dimensional writing Assign students a role and they have to write for that role.
Example • Teacher discusses a car accident with the students • Students discuss how the accident can be avoided. They have to imagine they are the: • driver • passengers • pedestrians
Activity sheet – Part 4 Writing rules Imagine you are the: Group 1,2: principal Group 3,4: librarian Group 5,6: class monitor Group 7,8: teachers
Other examples • Imagine you are the Papa Bear, write rules for Goldilocks so as to help her become a good girl. • Imagine you are the king of the forest (lion), write rules for different animals to follow
Why using “Multi-dimensional writing? • Enables students to view things from different angles • Helps students to be more focused when they write
4. Brainstorming and mind mapping • Identify a problem / task to be done • Brainstorm solutions / steps/ possibilities • Use mind map to arrange and develop the ideas
Example • Teacher puts the word “cooking” on the board. • Brainstorm words related to cooking. (ingredients, cooking utensils, different ways to cook, people who cook, different tastes …) • Tell students to focus on the ingredients, cooking utensils and ways to cook. • Group the words under these 3 sub-themes • Teach students how to write a recipe – “ A loving recipe for _____________”
Why using “brainstorming” and “mind-mapping”? Brainstorming: • Excellent way of developing many creative ideas • Help students to break out of their thinking patterns into new ways of looking at things Mind-maps: • Used for arranging and developing ideas • Improve the way students take notes • A good format for memorizing and reviewing ideas Remember: There should be no criticism of ideas. Students should not worry about people’s egos or opinions. Judgments and analysis will stunt idea generation. Ideas should only be evaluated once the brainstorming session has finished.
Break Time!! (Be back in 15 minutes!)
Strategies for teaching creative writing (2) : Writing stories
1. Transformation • Creating a new ending / new version to the story (b) Making an appeal
Example Making an appeal Imagine you are the Troll, write about why you are so fierce to the goats. I am fierce to the goats because …
Activity Sheet – Part 5 Discuss with your groupmates: Why was the troll so fierce to the goats?
Language help • Goats kicked troll’s mother • Mother fell into the water • Mother died • No one took care of Troll • Hated the goats • Goats ate all the grass • No more grassland, trees • All the other animals were hungry reasons • The goats were naughty • Always kicked the troll • Ate the grass and flowers in his garden
2. Imagine you are … Activity sheet – Part 6 Imagine you are the 3 goats, use your five senses to think about how nice the grassland is. See? Smell? Listen? Taste? Touch?
Sample work When I arrived at the grassland, I saw ___________. I smelt ________ and it was __________. I could hear ____________________. I touched ____________________. Finally, I ate the grass and it tasted _________________.
3. Character empathy • Write for the characters and express how they feel (letter, diary…) • examples: • Write about Baby Bear’s feeling when he saw his broken chair. (letter) • Write about Cinderella’s feeling at home. (diary)
Example Activity Sheet – Part 7 When writing Cinderella’s diary, what language help will you give your students? Discuss with your groupmates.
Sample Work (Diary) 10 Oct, 2004 I am so unhappy today. My sisters made me wake up at 5:00 a.m. I am so tired. They made me cook breakfast for the whole family. They made me feed the animals and take the dog out for a walk. They didn’t let me have my breakfast and I was hungry all day. They made me……… • Language help: • past tense • use of “let” and “make” • vocabulary relating to housework
4. Imagination (a) If… • Create a new ending based on an assumption e.g. If the Little Billy Goat Gruff couldn’t cross bridge, … Activity sheet – Part 8 Now, it is your turn to create a new ending! 1,2,3…go!
Language help • Troll took him home. • Troll and Little Billy • Goat Gruff became friends • Troll took care of Little Billy Goat • Lived together happily • Troll took him home • No food for Little Billy Goat • Little Billy Goat was • very hungry. • Little Billy Goat died New endings • The two brother goats didn’t see Little Goat • Brothers were sad • Brothers went back to the bridge to find • Little Goat • The two brother goats fought with the • troll. • Brothers won and took Little Goat home
(b.) Wish fulfillment Example: • Discuss what Cinderella’s dream is. • Write about your own dream (e.g. poem writing).