Do you remember creative writing in class? I find that many creative writing classes focus on the writing aspect of a story - proper grammar, word count etc. I prefer to inspire creativity, enhance story-telling skills and spark the imagination of kids and allow them to record their story in a way that is most comfortable to them.
By focusing on the creative side of creative writing I am allowing children who struggle with writing to still be able to create awesome stories. Creativity isn't about being a great artist or writer, it is about taking inspiration and imagination and creating something you love!
Stories from little ones
I have taught creative writing classes to children aged 3-5. Obviously this age group doesn't focus on the writing idea of story-telling. Instead we can experience drama, make-believe and the ideas of how a story goes together. We can talk about characters, where the story might take place and how those two things can influence a story. I usually do this with some games that include mixed up characters and spin a scene.
Check out this video creativity clip for a better understanding of the spin a scene game.
Storytelling is a great experience for all ages. There is great magic in reading a story to child, there is great connection in hearing someone talk about their childhood or family history and there is great power in listening to someone tell their story on stage.
We can strengthen the joy of storytelling with kids by reading stories to them, by encouraging them to read on their own (even if they can't read they can look at the pictures and tell you the story based on that). Acting out stories that children are familiar with is another great story-telling skill and it is important to be part of the story or be a captive audience.
I am currently developing some creative writing courses for kids that focus on inspiring the creativity and building the story-telling skills.
The Creativity Adventure Course is the first of these classes and it compares writing a story to playing a video game. It offers four videos containing lessons and off-screen assignments about creating a character, determining setting, planning the plot and putting it all together into story ideas.
Visit the Quite a Character Classroom to find out about this and other upcoming creative writing classes.
“Creative writing and literacy go hand in hand.”
— Rita Dove
Story-telling skills are so fun to learn. For more ideas on how to teach these skills to younger children check out the Creating hands-on activities for English class blog post.