Are you feeling the winter blues?
Feeling the bitter chill of winter can get some people down in the dumps and wishing for summertime, read on for ideas on making winter feel wonderful using creative writing tasks in the classroom. These ideas aim to get your students’ imagination flowing by teaching them to write in original and inventive ways. Getting your students involved in regular creative writing sessions can help individuality thrive in terms of literacy based skills. This helps them gain their own artistic attributes to use, and improve on, throughout their education and perhaps into their future employment. According to Kyle Minor from The Independent Collegian, creative writing can help writers understand themselves and others around them by discussing or creating situations that they may be facing or will eventually have to face. TeacherBoards Community have found some useful ideas and tasks that you can use in your own classrooms. These winter writing activities can be transferred from primary to secondary by adding a few extra characteristics to make the difficulty level more intermediate.
Preparing your Prompts
As the teacher you will need to prepare a few prompts or scenarios to make the creative writing activity to go down the path you want it to. Figure out what you want the outcome of this lesson to be and draw your ideas from there. For example, if you want to discuss non-fiction then you could go down the route of writing articles or letters that include informative or factual content. Make sure the tasks you have set are relative to the age group you are teaching. This is because your creative writing skills will embrace a wider level of depth and maturity whilst you are growing up and this needs to be nurtured in order to improve with age.
Veto this, veto that…
The first idea we thought could be a successful aspect for any creative writing class was to veto the overused and tedious words to help your students improve their vocabulary. For primary students; words such as snow, cold, and Santa can be banned. The difficulty level can be increased for secondary students by adding more and more words to the ‘veto list’. You can use this idea for different literacy lessons such as poetry, short stories, and descriptive writing. As part of a group work task, you could choose certain words to veto for each group, this makes the narrative of the story more open and students can work together to discuss wider vocab and original ideas. Our TeacherBoards mini whiteboards would be a great addition to this task as you can modify and add words throughout the lesson with ease – find them on our website today.
Another winter themed lesson plan is to work on descriptive narratives. Riddles can be complicated to complete but are fun to create. The objective is to take a classical winter themed word and describe it to the class, or in small groups, in a riddle. For example; ‘I wear a colourful coat with sparkles and prints, I have a ribbon on my hair and bring lots of joy to deserving people – what am I?’ (Answer: present/Christmas gift).
Winter Writing Prompts
These ‘winter prompts’ found on The Teacher Next Door blog are a great way of prompting a winter themed story or other writing activity. Many of these titles are able to create unique writing pieces as they help students refer to their own memories or opinions. These prompts can be used to compose poems, stories and many other literature activities. You can create your own prompts depending on what you want to teach in any particular literacy class and you can alter how challenging the writing experience will be.
Another option following on from setting up your own winter prompts is to use pictures as a start off point. You can use these images below or find your own winter themed images to set up your own scenarios for your creative writing class. It is better to find images that don’t have an obvious theme to them; this is so students are more likely to let their imaginations run wild when it comes to creating a story based on the image they have chosen. These images may resemble something to one student and can have the complete opposite effect on another, making genre, dialogue and patterns more original and exciting to read.
Creativity in children is an important aspect to nurture and teaching literacy and creative writing can help do this. There are many ways to spruce up your writing lessons, the ideas TeacherBoards Community have found are simple yet enjoyable and can be transferred to any age group. The artistic content of creative writing is something that we should embrace and you should teach your students to be proud of their individual, imaginative wit.