Writing is a way to communicate facts and ideas, to express thoughts and feelings, and to tell a story. Through creative writing, we stretch our imaginations as well as acquire critical thinking skills.
Sample some of the following activities to learn more about creative writing.
The following are places to go (some real and some virtual) to find out about creative writing.
There are few intellectual offenses more serious than plagiarism in academic and professional contexts. This resource offers advice on how to avoid plagiarism in your work.
Tips for students and teachers on creative writing.
Scholastic's step-by-step writing tips.
Talk to John Bartlett and use one of his 9000 quotations to spice up your writing. John lived from 1820 to 1905. He compiled his first collection of passages, phrases, and proverbs traced to their sources in ancient and modern literature. in 1855. That book is now in its 9th edition.
Get to know Beatrix Potter. Everyone is familiar with her writing endeavors and her tales of Peter Rabbit, Tom Kitten, and Jemima Puddle-Duck. In her later years, though, Beatrix was a renowned sheep breeder and an advocate for preserving her beloved Lake District in England.
Visit the ancient Sumerians and learn about their system of writing called cuneiform.
Get to know Johannes Gutenberg. He was a goldsmith who lived in Germany in the mid 1400s. Gutenberg invented moveable type where metal letters could be arranged in any order and then produced on a printing press.
Meet Calliope the muse of writing and epic poetry. In ancient Greece, there were nine goddesses called muses who were the spirits of the arts. People looked to the muses to gain inspiration for artistic endeavors.
Arthur Conan Doyle began writing his famous Sherlock Holmes stories in the 1880s in London. Arthur Conan Doyle was a medical doctor with an established practice when his Sherlock Holmes novels began to make him well-known. His Sherlock character was loosely based on one of Doyle’s teachers in medical school who was a master at observation, logic, deduction, and diagnosis.
Visit ancient Vikings and learn about a system of writing called runes.
Visit your school or public library and check out The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. To fully appreciate and understand this wonderful book, be sure and read the preface. Have students select one of the illustrations and write a story around it.
Raining frogs....raining cats and dogs......Have students write stories where other animals are raining down. (Raining camels? Raining penguins?) While you're at it, use the World Wide Words: Exploring the English Language site to find out the origin of the phrase "raining cats and dogs" or have students write their own versions of how they think this phrase came to be.
Students can submit their stories and poems to this children's online forum.
Print a storymap for students to use with the books they read.
Have students write their own tongue twisters.
Have students review their parts of speech by inserting words into these goofy stories. They can use the existing stories or create their own.
Improve your vocabulary. Subscribe to the Word A Day listserv and receive a new and useful word every day via email.
Help students publish their stories, poetry, book and movie reviews, and artwork online.
- Barden, Cindy. Love to Write: Activities to Sharpen Creative Writing Skills. Carthage, IL: Teaching & Learning Co., c1995.
- Brantley, Cynthia. The Princeton Review Writing Smart Junior: The Art and Craft of Writing. New York: Random House, 1995.
- Ellis, Sarah. The Young Writer's Companion. Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre, c1999.
- Fletcher, Ralph J. A Writer's Notebook: Unlocking the Writer Within You. New York: Avon Books, c1996.
- Johnson, Philip C. Impressions: Writing Opportunities for Children. Mukilteo, WA: WinePress Pub., c1997.
- Phillips, Kathleen C. How To Write a Story. New York: F. Watts, c1995.
- Policoff, Stephen Phillip. Real Toads in Imaginary Gardens: Suggestions and Starting Points for Young Creative Writers. Chicago, Ill.: Chicago Review Press, c1991.
- Seuling, Barbara. To Be a Writer: A Guide for Young People Who Want to Write and Publish. New York: Twenty-First Century Books, c1997.
- Stevens, Janet. From Pictures to Words: A Book About Making a Book. New York: Holiday House, c1995.
- Young, Sue. Writing with Style. New York: Scholastic, 1997.