Creativity is an essential part of a child’s development. It is fostered through play and imaginative exploration which in turn help build the foundations for future academic success. The benefits of encouraging creativity in school-aged children are countless – from improving their social skills to boosting their school performance. There are many ways in which teachers can engage students in creative activities, from performance art to painting, and from book publishing to graphic design. In this article, we will discuss how to introduce creative writing to third graders.
Pick A Genre
It is important to choose a genre for your creative writing class. This will depend on the age of your students but also on the length of the pieces you intend to assign. For example, you could explore short stories for younger students and longer novels for older ones. There are also fantasy, science fiction, and horror novels which are perfect for the older students in your school. Whatever your chosen genre, make sure that the pieces you choose are of a good quality and that you can find the resources to teach them. Most importantly, the genre you choose should match the students’ creativity and interest. For instance, if you are teaching high school students who have displayed an interest in the macabre, then go for it!
Extend The Learning
When introducing creative writing to your kids, it is important to think about the longer-term benefits of the class. Just because they have enjoyed creating something in the short-term doesn’t mean that the entire class will benefit from the exercise. In fact, it is likely that some of the students will struggle with the concept and won’t see the point in it. Extending the period in which the students can explore new concepts can be beneficial. This way, each student will feel that they are capable of creating something even if they didn’t necessarily see the value in creative writing before.
Explore The Elements Of A Story
It is no secret that students can struggle with the concept of writing an entire story. The most effective way of easing them into this task is by helping them understand the basics of a tale. Before you start writing, take some time to explore the elements of a story including setting, character, and plot. A story must have a protagonist, antagonist, and a main conflict. Additionally, you should know how the conflict is resolved. Knowing these things will allow you to construct a coherent narrative from a collection of disconnected anecdotes. When exploring these elements, you should do so through a series of questions to determine where the story is going and how it is supposed to end. Most importantly, make sure that you are having fun! If you are enjoying yourself, then your students will too.
Choose A Journal Or Literary Mag
Another way of helping your students express their creative side is through literary magazines or journals. The most popular of these are Ode, The Parisian Review, and TikTok Magazine. If your school does not have these resources available to them, then it is time to put your creative talents to work and start a literary magazine of your own. Creating a magazine is a great way of enabling your students to explore their creative side while also increasing their self-reliance. It is a great way for them to discover the joy of writing and the power of words to provoke thought and elicit emotion.
Introduce Creative Writing In Smaller Sized Groups
When teaching creative writing to your students, it is important to break the class down into smaller groups whenever possible. This will help students get one-on-one help whenever they need it. If there are more than four students in a class, then it is time to break the group up into two or three segments. Each group will then have a chance to share their work with the class and get constructive criticism. The important thing is to find the right balance between being a hands-on teacher and allowing the students to explore the material on their own. If you want to explore in greater detail how to teach creative writing to your students, then read our guide on How to Write A Novel With Young Writers.
Be A Hands-On Teacher
Being a good teacher is more than just showing your students the subject matter you are teaching. It involves connecting with your students on a personal level and being there for them whenever they need you. Being a hands-on teacher means being present in the classroom, participating in class activities, and engaging with your students. When you are a hands-on teacher, you are able to tailor your lessons to suit individual needs and levels of understanding. Students feel that you are genuinely interested in their success and well-being.
Create A Few Writing Assignments
Rather than flooding your students’ minds with information and expecting them to retain everything, create a few short-term writing assignments which will help them develop critical thinking and creative writing skills. Short-term assignments do not have to be elaborate – a short story, an article, or a poem can all be good starting points. The most important thing is for you to find something that your students can relate to and which will engage them academically.