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school hallway - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing

At our school the hallway is the jungle gym. It's a pole down, a ladder up, monkey bars from the ceilings, balancing beam on the floor, slides and cargo nets. Why walk from A to B when you can have healthy adrenaline highs and a bit of muscle work? When we leave one room we have a million fun ways to get to the next door... now that's the kind of puzzle everyone loves! We are all born to play and it's when we add play to learning that we get better results. Our school is ace.
The school hallway had the greatest of echos, and within it we were all cheeseball tap-dancers.
The school hallway was light and bright, even upon the stormy days its grand windows let in a bouquet of rays.
The hallways are dark marble floors and white walls, not a hand print or scuff mark anywhere. The doors are a glossy black, numbered with silver digits that match the globe shaped handles. It isn't just the materials though, it's the dimensions, the width being at least twice that of Brampton High.
The school hallway was all bright paints and neat trimmed pinboards. Our school was great that way, they really embraced colour.
Once a bustle of chatter and a flowing of friends, the hallways had become a steady stream of order, each of us a careful two meters apart.

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school creative writing description

Descriptive Writing

school creative writing description

What is descriptive writing?

Descriptive writing helps the reader visualize the person, place, thing, or situation being described. When a text conjures a vivid, sensory impression in the reader’s mind, not only does it make the writing more interesting to read; it helps the reader understand the text better and recognize the author’s intention more clearly.

Why teach descriptive writing?

How to teach descriptive writing

If only descriptive writing were as simple as “show, don’t tell”! Descriptive writing is a skill — and a craft — that takes instruction, practice, and time to learn. The good news is that it can be explicitly taught. An understanding of the characteristics of effective descriptive writing, combined with a toolkit of structures and strategies to scaffold learning and practice, can enhance students’ development as authors of vivid, evocative writing.

What effective descriptive writing looks like

Authors of descriptive writing use a variety of styles and techniques to connect with readers, but effective descriptive writing often shares these characteristics:

What effective instruction in descriptive writing looks like

There isn’t one right approach to teaching descriptive writing, but effective instruction often includes:

Watch a demonstration: show NOT tell using your 5 senses

In this virtual lesson, the teacher models generating written descriptions of a hot day using the five senses as a framework.

Watch a classroom lesson: five senses graphic organizer

Students use their five senses and a graphic organizer to brainstorm ideas for writing a report on a recent school event and to help them think about interesting words to include in their report. See the lesson plan .

Watch a classroom discussion: writer’s workshop

Writer's Workshop connects great children's literature with children’s own writing experiences. In this video clip from our Launching Young Readers PBS series , Lynn Reichle's second graders practice their use of descriptive writing.

Collect resources

Here are some routines and structures for teaching descriptive writing:

The RAFT strategy encourages descriptive writing and supports writing in general by encouraging students to think through the writer's Role, the Audience, the Format, and the Topic. ReadWriteThink offers this RAFT Writing Template .

This Sense Chart  — organized into sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch categories — helps students capture sensory details related to a topic. The Describing Wheel offers a more open-ended format for capturing and organizing descriptive language.

The Show-Me Sentences lesson plan from ReadWriteThink was created for students in grades 6-12. However, elementary teachers can modify the Show-Me sentences to make them interesting for younger students.

This lesson plan from Utah Education Network guides students through the process of writing about a favorite place using descriptive language. 

This lesson plan from the Philadelphia Museum of Art has students work collaboratively to generate descriptive writing about works of art. It is intended for upper elementary and middle grades but can be adapted for lower grades.

Teacher Laura Torres created a lesson plan that uses images to jumpstart vivid writing: Three Descriptive Writing Picture Prompts .

This resource from Greenville County Schools in South Carolina provides several ideas for writing in math class . Writing and mathematics are similar in that they both require gathering, organizing, and clarifying thoughts. Writing can assist math instruction by helping children make sense of mathematics and by helping teachers understand what children are learning.

Writing in science gives students an opportunity to describe observations and scientific phenomena, and can help them comprehend new material by having to explain it in their own words. Fazio and Gallagher propose two instructional strategies to assist teachers and student when writing in science: a mnemonic acronym (POWER) and an editing checklist.

Social Studies

In social studies, descriptive writing can help students describe an important historical figure or event more clearly. Writing rich in detail will create vivid depictions of people and places and help make history come alive.

Differentiate instruction

For English-learners, readers of different ability levels, or students needing extra support:

Extend the learning

This resource from Greenville County Schools in South Carolina provides several ideas for writing in math class . Writing and mathematics are similar in that they both require gathering, organizing, and clarifying thoughts. Writing can support math instruction by helping students make sense of important concepts and procedures.

Descriptive writing in science can help students capture observations and scientific phenomena with greater precision, and can help them comprehend new material by explaining it in their own words. Fazio and Gallagher propose two instructional strategies to assist teachers and student when writing in science: a mnemonic acronym (POWER) and an editing checklist.

Related strategies

Learn more about building writing skills in our self-paced module Reading 101: Writing .

See the research that supports this strategy

Akerson, V. L., & Young, T.A. (2005). Science the 'write' way. Science and Children , 43(3), 38-41.

MacArthur, C., Graham, S., & Fitzgerald, J. (2016). Handbook of research on writing (2nd Edition). NY: Guilford.

Miller, R.G., & Calfee, R.C. (2004). Making thinking visible: A method to encourage science writing in upper elementary grades. Science and Children , (42)3, 20-25.

Mitchell, D. (1996). Writing to learn across the curriculum and the English teacher. English Journal , 85, 93-97.

Children's books to use with this strategy

The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) 

The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) 

In this spin-off off from the traditional tale, the indomitable bread-making Little Red Hen makes pizza. Describe why her friends wouldn't help her and in the order they refused her request. Make the pizza, its maker, and the ingredients irresistible in your description. Compare it to a time-honored version.

Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme 

Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme 

A prolific (and popular) poet, Prelutsky provides poem starters for slightly older children. Young poets can either finish the "poemstarts" suggested here or create their own original poem.

Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella

Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella

Cinderella stories are found around the world; here, they have been fused into one tale with special characteristics in text and illustrations that reflect the different origins. Expand parts of the story to echo the traditions of the culture and its history from which it comes. It may be possible to develop a map of tales (e.g., ancient vs. modern countries, or as a visual as to where it is/was told).

Each Orange Had 8 Slices: A Counting Book

Each Orange Had 8 Slices: A Counting Book

Counting is fun especially in this sophisticated but accessible and handsomely illustrated book. Various situations are introduced in straightforward sentences followed by questions that are answered by counting. Describe each situation in the order presented.

A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder

A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder

Arresting photographs of water in various states not only introduces water but also weather, solids and liquids, and more. The sophisticated text further encourages experimentation and observation, although is not necessary to use the entire book with younger children.

26 Letters and 99 Cents

26 Letters and 99 Cents

Sequencing, sets, counting, and money (coins) are introduced in crisp photographs in this wordless concept book. Upper and lower case letters from A to Z with attendant objects are half of the book; turn it over and numbers, counting, and more are presented.

I Face the Wind

I Face the Wind

Children are encouraged to observe as experiment as they learn about wind and air as well as practice science writing by describing their findings.

Benny's Pennies

Benny's Pennies

A boy has five pennies and spends them one at a time as he meets people during a walk. Told in rhyme, this cumulative story is appealing and well supported by illustration.

Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk

The traditional tale of a boy who planted magic beans is reimagined as a city story of a spell broken. Illustrations are photographs that have been manipulated for good effect.

Soup Day

A mother and her child get the ingredients for soup on a snowy day and then add everything to the pot. The pair plays snug and warm while the soup simmers until Dad comes home when they enjoy soup together. Crisp collage and a simple text make for a cozy read.

No Easy Way: The Story of Ted Williams and the Last .400 Season

No Easy Way: The Story of Ted Williams and the Last .400 Season

Ted Williams never flinched at hard work or a challenge. In his last season with the Boston Red Sox, Williams had to decide if he wanted to take the chance and lose his rare .400 average or go to bat. Williams' decision creates a riveting read in this handsome and thoughtful look at one man's ethics and the times in which he lived.

The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth

The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth

Two machines captivated young Philo Farnsworth: a telephone and a phonograph. Both had cranks and both connected people with others (one in real time, the other through music). These and other inspirations motivated young Philo to invent what was to become known as the television. His early story is fascinatingly told and well illustrated.

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11

Relive the journey of the Apollo 11 where the first people stepped on the Moon's surface and saw Earth from a very different perspective. Eloquent language and illustrations combine to present this historical event in a unique, unforgettable way.

If America Were a Village: A Book About the People of the United States

If America Were a Village: A Book About the People of the United States

If all of the 300 million people were simply one village of 100 people, its diversity is easier to understand. That's just what the author has done to make the complex make-up of the U.S. residents (in terms of languages spoken, ages, and more). Colorful illustrations accompany the understandable text. Additional resources complete the book. If the World Were a Village: A Book About the World’s People , also by Smith, looks at the inhabitants of the world as a village to allow its diversity to become more understandable for adults and children.

One World, One Day

One World, One Day

Every day children around the world awake to begin their days having breakfast, going to school, coming home to families. A poetic text combines with photographs from myriad countries to visually highlight the richness of the world and its people.

10 Minutes Till Bedtime

10 Minutes Till Bedtime

At One Hoppin' Place, the countdown to bedtime is about to begin when a family of hamsters — a mother and father with nine kids and a baby all wearing numbered striped jerseys — arrives at the front door.

The Mysterious Tadpole

The Mysterious Tadpole

When Louis' uncle sends a tadpole from a certain lake in Scotland, the small tadpole grows to enormous proportions. With the help of a resourceful librarian, Louis figures out a way to feed his large and ever-hungry Alphonse as well as determine a permanent solution. Humor abounds in this contemporary classic.

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. grew up fascinated by big words. He would later go on to use these words to inspire a nation and call people to action. In this award-winning book, powerful portraits of King show how he used words, not weapons, to fight injustice.

Squids Will Be Squids

Squids Will Be Squids

Scieszka and Smith set sights on creating fresh fables — short traditional tales intended to teach a moral lesson. With humorous twists and take-offs, new, different and wacky fables are presented for readers' edification and amusement.

Science Verse

Science Verse

This boy's curse begins when his teacher suggests that the "poetry of science" can be heard everywhere. From Moore to Frost, familiar poems are parodied and turned into science verse. Again art and illustration are inseparable as are the laughs in this offbeat look at science.

Easy to read and understand.

This was really helpful. Very detailed I feel like.

Really good examples and nice enjoyable videos. The videos make it easy to understand.

Fun, useful, precise and captures all the elements needed to build a descriptive essay.

Great, they are supported by video and some examples too.

amazing and helps me learn

clear information, brief, interesting examples and also provide nice video

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school creative writing description

What is Creative Writing? | An Introduction for Students

But what exactly is it all about? And if you’re new to the subject, how can you get started? 

Creative writing is all about using your imagination and creativity to express ideas and thoughts in a way which is personal to you. Quite simply, it’s about adding your own ‘flair’ to writing, going beyond the traditional boundaries of academic or other technical forms of literature.

Learn more about what creative writing is, what the different types are, as well as some top tips on how to get started - all with this helpful guide and introduction to creative writing.

What is creative writing?

As the name suggests, creative writing is a form of writing that goes beyond the traditional realms of normal, professional, academic or technical forms of writing. 

Instead, it encompasses a number of different genres and styles across a whole range of fields of both fictional and non-fiction writing; storytelling, playwriting, poetry, prose, journalistic, and more. 

Though the definition can be quite vague, creative writing can, for the most part, be considered as any type of writing that is original and expressive of oneself. Typically, it can be identified by an emphasis on narrative craft, focusing on elements such as character development, narrative and plot, infusing its structure with imagination, invention and story. 

In this sense, creative writing can technically be considered any writing of contemporary, original composition - it's bound by no standard conventions and uses a whole range of elements in its craft.

In an academic setting, creative writing is typically divided into fiction, poetry, or scriptwriting classes, with a focus on writing in an original style, not defined by pre-existing structures and genres. 

What are the different types of creative writing?

Creative writing comes in many forms, encompassing a number of genres and styles. There are lots of different types of creative writing, which can be categorised as fiction or non-fiction. Some of the most popular being:

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What makes a good piece of creative writing?

First and foremost, it’s important to note that there is no pre-defined description of what it means to create a ‘good’ piece of creative writing. As the very name suggests, creative writing is an imaginative process, created by the individual with all their quirks and personalities.

Creative writing doesn’t fit one set genre and therefore there will never be an umbrella definition to describe the ‘perfect’ piece. Just think about a Gothic short story and then compare it to the features of a great Romantic poem - the two are so very different - it wouldn’t be unfair to judge them together. 

However, with that being said, there are a few general principles that you can follow to make your creative writing as strong as it can be - by making it as authentic and true to you as possible:

Know your audience - All great stories begin with a target audience in mind - because it’s exactly what you need to know in order to really tailor your writing and connect with them. Therefore, any creative writer should begin their writing by plotting out exactly who they want to read their work. Once you have this in mind, your writing will naturally begin to take direction and flow in a way that seems appropriate to your audience.

Write what you know - Quite often, the best stories are those which we can connect to and relate in one or another way to our own lives. Or, they’re stories which seem so authentic that you could imagine it to be about the writer’s own life. Now, this doesn’t mean that you quite literally have to write about your life, but drawing on knowledge you have about different elements of our lives to give your story some authenticity and more believability.

Creativity is key - Creativity is one of the most important elements of creative writing. It’s what sets you apart from other pieces of writing in your genre. Of course, this doesn't demand that you write a tale about a totally fantastical and mythical world with unique creatures - but simply use your creativity to think a little outside the box and put a unique twist on things; using literary devices like metaphors, alliteration, and varied sentence structure to make your work unique and interesting.

Push your imagination - One of the great things about creative writing is that there is no definition or rules on ‘how’ to write. It’s a much more subjective genre, and one which relies heavily on your own interpretations. Therefore, you should push your imagination to the limits to see what the end result could be. Some of the most interesting pieces of literature are thought-provoking or make us question the writing or world around us - where could your story take us?

Plot a loose story arc - Despite the loose bounds of creative writing, it is still advisable to plot a loose story arc for any piece of literature you create. Story arcs are critical at giving your writing direction and purpose, helping you to write the whole piece at a good pace, without writing any superfluous content or ‘waffle.’ Follow your story arc, and your writing will have a strong structure, pace and direction - keeping your readers more engaged.

What are some techniques used in creative writing?

To make their writing stand out, writers often employ several creative writing techniques and literary devices, including:

Character development - The process of creating a well-rounded, realistic character with depth, personality, and clear goals or motivations.

Plot development - The story of your piece of writing - how it develops, unfolds, and moves along in time.

**Point of view **- The perspective from which a narrative is told. It indicates who is telling the story and how the information is conveyed to the reader. Quite often writers will play with the point of view of the central character or protagonist to trick the reader and twist their perspective. 

Dialogue - Refers to the speech and conversations characters use to speak to one another. Dialogue and the language choices a character makes can be pivotal in helping define their personality.

Literary devices - Such as metaphors, similes and alliteration to make creative writing more imaginative and descriptive. These are used in a myriad of ways by writers to make their writing more vivid, interesting and engaging.


Can creative writing be taught?

Of course! Creative writing can be taught, and is a very popular subject for university students, and for those who attend our summer courses . 

Those who pursue the subject of Creative Writing will typically study a variety of texts from different periods of time to learn more about the different genres of writing within the field. They’ll become familiar with some of the leading creative writers from generations past to present, as well as some lesser-known and emerging writers in the industry.

Inspired by what they’ve learnt in the classroom, it’s not uncommon for Creative Writing students to also participate in regular workshops and scratch sessions, where they bring a piece of their writing along to class and have it read by other students and the tutor. They’ll leave with constructive feedback on how to improve their writing, or recommendations of other works which they may want to read to take influence from.

How to start creative writing

If you’re interested in getting those creative juices flowing and improving your writing craft, read some of our tips below on how to start creative writing :

Read as much as you can - For creative writers, inspiration comes from a whole range of sources, but most commonly, from other writers. There’s some excellent examples of creative writing throughout history that all writers should be inspired by. Read a variety of genres by different authors to get a real feel for what type of writing you may want to do. Need some inspiration? Check out our blog: 15 Classic Books to Read

Start journaling - Starting a journal can really help to unleash your inner creativity. Getting into the habit of writing each day about literally anything that’s preoccupied you that day will help you practice the art of writing. The more regular you journal, the more you’ll build your confidence. You never know, you could even find your next great idea from something you’ve journaled about!

Attend a Creative Writing summer course - If you’re just starting out as a creative writer and looking to collaborate, share ideas with others and workshop your writing, then joining a creative writing summer school could be a great option. Our creative writing summer courses are designed to help you extend your creative writing toolkit; you’ll analyse some of the industry’s greatest writers, as well as workshop some of your own writing with your peers.

Practice using literary devices - Literary devices, such as metaphors, similes and rhyme can really help you write more vividly and create really descriptive, imaginative scenes. Practice using them regularly and you’ll soon watch your own creative writing start to flourish. Need some ideas to help you get practising? Look around your house and pick a random object. Then, practice using 5 literary devices to describe that same object - see where your creativity can take you!

Write, write, write! - When it comes to how to start creative writing, one of the biggest pieces of advice we can offer is to pick up your pen or laptop, and start writing. Whether you have a single conversation starter for a character, or a complete narrative arc, you will only begin your creative writing journey when you physically do it. Even if you have no idea on what to write - look for writing prompt inspiration from all around you. The more you practice unleashing your creativity, the easier it will be to write over longer periods of time.

Creative writing is an expressive form of literature; one which demands you to use your own creativity, imagination and story to portray a particular message, emotion, or plot. It defies the traditional bounds of other forms of writing and is completely subjective to our own preferences and experiences.

For those looking to get started with creative writing, it’s important to really immerse yourself in the world of literature, reading and writing as much as you can - and even workshopping your work where possible. Creative writing summer schools and evening classes are a great way to meet other like-minded students, share knowledge and feedback, and really upskill yourself.

Study Creative Writing in Oxford or Cambridge

Interested in joining a Creative Writing summer course? Learn tried and tested writing techniques from some of Oxford and Cambridge's greatest published tutors on our 2-week English Literature and Creative Writing summer course .

Whether you’re new to the subject or looking to advance your skill set, our programme will help develop your own writing voice and style, while learning crucial elements of structure to help your work flow. You’ll learn from our expert tutors - made up of literary critics, authors, and university lecturers - in either the historic city of Oxford or Cambridge . 

It’s the most influential learning environment, with the most inspiring tutors - guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing!

Contact us to find out more or apply today to reserve your place.

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Details and Descriptions

Abstract shapes: the importance of visual description, brain teaser: voice without word choice, character development: making those characters a little more three-dimensional, exploding a moment: developing details, food and family: description, fortune cookies: focusing a description, fun with death—adding depth and creativity to your writing, good humor: using humor effectively, learning to lie—the importance of including details, silent film exercise—creating original dialogue and writing descriptively, snap shots: details & point of view, symbols of memory: using detail to establish meaning, the exquisite corpse: fun with syntax, unpacking the object: descriptive details, what is it enriching descriptive writing.

Purpose of Exercise:  This exercise shows students the complex relationship between an object and the language we use to describe it. Students learn the importance of considering the audience’s reception of meanings in their word choice. This is useful in the drafting process of a visual analysis of any kind – even an ethnography when an author’s attention to audience in their descriptions of another group is vital.

Description:  The class works in pairs to try and describe and draw a random abstract shape. A prize goes to the pair whose describers has best conveyed the description of the shape such that the drawer can most accurately recreate it, sight unseen. They will need paper and pencils, and you will need a whiteboard and marker.

Suggested Time:  20 minutes to a full class period

Procedure:  Divide students into pairs. Ask the pairs to move so that one person is facing the whiteboard and one person is facing away from it. The person facing away from the board needs paper and pen/pencil. Once the people who are supposed to be facing away from the board are situated, draw an abstract shape (any combination of lines, arcs, shapes, symbols, etc.) on the board.

Let the student facing the board see the board and look at the picture for about 30 seconds. Then give them two minutes to describe it to their partners. The describers are not allowed to use their hands at all. The partners who are listening to the descriptions must try to draw what is being described to them. Once time is up, ask each pair to display their results to the class. If you want, you can be the judge and give the group that comes closest a prize.

Have group members switch roles and repeat this exercise with a new abstract image. Once the second round is over, hold a class discussion about the difficulties students encountered in either or both roles. Which job did they think was harder? Why did you ask them to do this exercise? And so on.

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Purpose of Exercise:  This exercise fosters creative thinking in descriptions, development of voice, and playing effectively with sarcasm.

Description:  Students must write without the freedom of word choice, forcing them to compensate and develop other aspects of their voice with the selection of adjectives you give them. You should consider some unlikely persons, places, and things to pair those adjectives with.

Suggested Time:  10 – 40 minutes

Procedure:  Compile your group of words one of a few ways. Either have the class (without telling why) contribute adjectives and adverbs of their own to write up on the board, or with their help, select a number of them from a recent reading. Select a few adjectives from among these. Then, ask them to describe certain occupations or entities usually not grouped with those words. For instance, select three words out of the group, like “Cornucopian”, “opulent”, or “affluent” and ask them to describer a beggar. Or, you might ask them to describe Arnold Schwarzenegger using the words “Tenuous”, “Feeble”, and “Sickly”.

The trick is for them to creatively – using other components of style, namely their imagination but also things like tone and sentence structure – describe these people, places, things by their adjective antonyms. Importantly, they can’t ever say that the beggar, for example, was simply “not” any of those words. Perhaps they’ll compare him to other beggars, i.e. "he was an upper-class, high fluting, rather opulently dressed beggar", or perhaps they’ll have the beggar imagine being such things though he isn’t. If your class is stuck, give them this example to help them see what’s possible.

The exercises main goal is to improve their creativity, forcing them to write out of a difficult situation with something other than word choice – and to discover how colorful sarcasm might work. Take note of the ways students try to get out of it--because this is an exercise that you can do repeatedly, using different words and with different objects to describe. If you have the class repeat it, make their first escape techniques taboo for their next attempt.

Discuss the results as a class. If you’re working through a draft or a short story or an article, etc, you might assign a journal in which they take a person, place, or thing from their piece and retool their description using what they’ve learned. Another option is to ask them to bring their draft to class, and perform the exercise the second time on their own writing.

Purpose of Exercise:  This is a handout-style exercise for protagonist development in writing short stories. 

Description:  You might distribute this handout in class for students to fill-out during class time, or ask them to fill it out as a take-home journal for discussion/drafting in class.

Suggested Time:  15 mins to entire class period

Procedure:  Ask Students to complete the following Hand-out, either at home, or during class time:

Full Name: Sex (don’t write, “yes, please.”): Age and Date of Birth (as your story does not need to have a contemporary setting): Birth City: Parent’s Names: Siblings: Ethnicity: Pets: Education: Favorite Movie: Favorite TV Show: Favorite Book: Favorite Food: Favorite Day of the Week: Favorite Hobby: Favorite Drink: Favorite Band: Favorite Song: Favorite Halloween Costume (if s/he celebrated Halloween): Religious affiliation: Political affiliation: Love interest(s):

Physical Description

Eye Color: Hair Color and Style: Height: Weight: Skin Tone: Facial Description (does s/he have a unique nose, forehead, eyes, ears, lips, ect.?): Clothes (what s/he is wearing or usually wears): Other Physical Characteristics (ghetto booty, busty, muscular, corpulent, scrawny, disproportioned, ect.): 

Defining Moments

The one childhood instance—good or bad—that indelibly affects who this character is now: The character’s proudest moment: The character’s most embarrassing moment: The character’s career goals of future aspirations/ambitions: Whom the character would most like to have dinner with (past or present) and why: Three adjectives the character would use to describe him/herself:


What would your character’s post-secret say? How would it be designed? 

Take time in class to discuss character development, and the characters they created. Have students begin a scene in which their character confronts a specific situation/conflict. Or, if students have already begun their stories, have them revise a scene in which their character’s traits are more apparent.

Purpose:  This activity helps students develop their ideas and can be used at any stage in the writing process, but is often most helpful after the students write their first drafts. 

Description:  This revision technique is especially helpful in eliciting rich details (and the students will love the length it adds to a draft). It’s almost like writing in slow motion--slowing down the moment--to capitalize on sights, thoughts, feelings, and more.

Suggested Time:  45 minutes


1. Read orally the following paragraph:

I woke up late this morning--as usual. I had no clean clothes and the fridge was next to bare. Traffic was heavy as I sped to work. Some jerk cut me off and I almost had a wreck. At work I went to my desk and there was a note to go and see the boss. I waited outside her office for a while before she called me in. I couldn’t figure out why she wanted to see me. I went inside and sat down. My boss handed me an envelope. She told me that my services were no longer needed and that I was free to go. I got my belongings from my desk and left. The drive home was quick. I am now unemployed.

2. Point out the lack of details in this paragraph. Explain that any one of these sentences could be "exploded" to create an interesting story. I then read them the following explosion I wrote as an example:

Some jerk cut me off and I almost had a wreck. I hate people who can’t drive. I decided to teach him a little lesson by playing near bumper cars with his bright red 300 ZX. He kept hitting his brakes, and eventually even shook a fist of rage at me. I giggled gleefully--kind of like that lady in  Fried Green Tomatoes  who got immense pleasure from repeatedly rear-ending the car of the person who had stolen her parking space. Space is crucial, and that jerk will probably think twice before he cuts into mine again.

3. Now pass out copies of the first (bland) paragraph to students while they are getting into pairs. Tell them to choose one sentence to explode, making up the most interesting details they can--as long as their additions will still fit in the facts of the original paragraph.

4. After giving them 15-20 minutes, read the original paragraph again orally one sentence at a time, asking for volunteers to share their explosions. Students usually enjoy this time and are eager both to share and to listen to each other’s explosions.

5. Finally, after discussing the differences between the bare bones of the first paragraph and the rich details of their explosions, have students take out their most recent drafts and choose a sentence they feel is ripe for explosion (with actual details this time). Have students explode the moment(s) they’ve chosen as a means of adding interesting details to future drafts.

Purpose:  This activity is intended to inspire students to write very descriptively, and it can be used as an invention exercise for a personal essay in 1101 or a research essay in 1102

Description:  By using a previous very descriptive essay from OOW, students create a list of 10 favorite foods, narrow down, and end up writing descriptive paragraphs about them, including when they first had them, and other detail driven inquiries. The activity relates to “No Woman, No Cry” in the 2006-2007 edition of  Our Own Words .

Suggested Time:  30-45 minutes (If students don’t read the essay ahead of time, this could very well encompass an entire class period).

1. Have students make a list of their ten favorite foods from childhood in their journals or wherever you have them do invention exercises (or, depending on what you are having them write about, you could modify the exercise and have them make a list of least favorite foods, current favorite foods, ten foods they would most like to try, ten favorite ethnic foods, etc). This step shouldn’t take longer than about five minutes for most students.

2. Once most students have completed their list, have them answer some questions about each item on their list. When or where did you first eat this food? Who served it to you? How often did you eat this food? What memories do you associate with this food? Do you still eat this food today? How is this food prepared?

3. Now, have your students choose several items to examine more thoroughly. Have them create a list of adjectives that could be used to describe each word. Encourage them to think about using all five senses.

4. (If not read ahead of time) Display “No Woman, No Cry” on the projector screen and have students read the essay.

5. Have the students discuss the following questions: 

6. Using “No Woman, No Cry” as an example of effective description, tell your students to choose three foods from their lists to write a paragraph about. If possible, have them include a vivid description of the item as well as a specific memory that relates to that food.

7. Call on a few students to share their best paragraph, and discuss what techniques each student has used effectively in their writing.

This activity is designed for a TEC classroom. It can be modified for employment in a technology-free classroom if you make have them read it ahead of time or even display it and have students read it out loud. (It’s not very long)

Don’t let your students get hung up on Step 1. Some students have a hard time coming up with something like their top ten FAVORITES, so you could suggest that they simply list the first ten things that pop into their minds. Have some backup questions and an additional angle for fast-working students to continue working on so that they have something to keep them occupied as slower students are still completing the basic exercise.

Purpose of Exercise:  Works well with a personal essay composition. This is a "stretching exercise" that calls for students to expand and develop a particular thought, then revise and narrow the scope of that thought. Good for inspiring new ideas mid-project, or starting a new one.

Description:  Students take a fortune-cookie fortune and manipulate it. If you’d like to bring actual cookies, do so! Otherwise, you can search online for fortune cookie phrases on sites like . You might compile these onto paper strips and hand them out individually. Requires some printing and pre-cutting.

Suggested Time:  15-30 minutes

Procedure:  Each student chooses their own fortune cookie (or grabs a fortune out of your box, bag, etc) and writes down their fortune at the top of a clean page. Have a few extra fortunes on hand in case some students receive a fortune that is too cryptic or for ones that the student just doesn’t like.

Now give the students a few moments to consider their fortunes, then ask them to rewrite their fortune in a few sentences. They can adapt and expand their fortunes but they must stick to the original spirit and intent of the fortune. For example, a prediction about the student’s personality should remain about their personality and not stray to other possibilities like future success, relationships and so on.

Now tell the students to underline any strong words or descriptions they wrote in their revised fortunes. These should be whatever words make a strong impression on the student. Using the underlined words as a guide, have the students write a short fortune for themselves that would be appropriate to put inside a fortune cookie. Don’t feel constrained by Chinese Restaurant language, do it in your own words.

Discuss the new fortunes with in groups or share with the entire class. Consider the nature of the types of changes that were made and question why the student made those changes. The teacher could then ask the students to use the underlined words as key words in an idea cluster or tree to develop other personal ideas for a longer piece of writing.

This gives students a light stretching exercise before a good writing workout. It encourages them to think about themselves and try to capture some narrow aspect of their individual charter, or hopes or fears, and narrow them down to just a few words. Then they are given an opportunity to expand on these few words and say more about themselves.

Purpose of Exercise:  This exercise helps students work on using details in their writing. Most obituaries are dull and give few details. Use this as a way to have students actually do what an obit is meant to do--celebrate the life of a person who has died. Some may find this morbid but it doesn’t have to be -- have them focus on creativity and positives in their person’s life. It will offer a chance for groups to work together and shows them how to add depth and creativity to poor writing. Description: “Fun With Death" is a group exercise, so you can use your workshop groups or create new groups for your students to work with. It can be a way for students to become more familiar with working with other people and learning to work inside a group environment. 

Suggested Time:  At least 30 minutes

Procedure:  Cut out obituaries from a newspaper such as from the local paper or even the  New York Times . Give each group an obituary and have them add depth to the writing by rewriting them as a whole group (only one rewrite per group, that is). When they are done, have one person from each group read the obit aloud to the class. Then have the class (and yourself) ask them questions which will lead to more details that they missed, i.e. What was her sisters name? What company was she VP for? What was the name of her lover in the mailroom. etc? Don’t let them answer out loud -- tell them they will have to write them down and rewrite the obit again. Give them about 10 minutes to finish.

Follow up with journal assignment asking them to write their own obits and also asking them to make connections between what they learned writing the obits and what they can then apply to their own writing.

Purpose:  This exercise is intended to prompt discussion about the use of humor in writing, how it can both help and hinder. 

Description:  Students evaluate humor in the student essay “BOO” from  Our Own Words (2004-05). Using the students’ suggestions as points of analysis, the pros and cons of each humorous instance in the essay can be discussed, remedied, expanded on, etc. Also, this is a good essay to begin a discussion on voice and why it might work in the author’s advantage to use a humorous tone. This activity is a good one to reinforce the importance of rhetorical sensitivity by bringing in analysis of audience and audience reception.

Time Suggested:  50 minutes

Procedure:  The basic concept is simply to pick apart the paper, looking specifically for humorous moments and their effects (intended or not). Have students individually or in groups highlight excerpts from the essay that made them laugh or that they think were meant to be funny. Using the students’ suggestions as points of analysis, discuss the pros and cons of each humorous instance, suggest ways to remedy or expand on these uses of humor.

Some discussion questions: 

Additional Information:  Sample Passage from “Boo”: The room is blacker than the night sky on a new moon. Clutching to the warm, reassuring, non-psychotic body in front of you, you lower your head, cowering from the utter terror converging on you from all possible angles. You move like a bat out of the hell that you are now in towards what you desperately hope is an escape. Suddenly in the hustle, you hear a scream, which is instantly drowned out by the bloody lunatic slamming into the chain link fence mere inches to your right. Turning back to what you figure is forward you find that the person in front of you is gone! You’re all alone, without your trusty guide. It’s impossible to see where to go, and a multitude of eerily loud noises make you feel a level of discomfort unequaled by even that antiseptic hospital smell in the doctor’s office. Wait! There’s a light up ahead, and that looks like that lost soul formerly in front of you! Making a mad dash to rejoin a comrade lost in the confusion of this hell you feel like you just might get out of here. But then just as quickly as your elation hit, all hope is lost. Your leader’s jeans and t-shirt have now become torn rags, and that purse she was carrying is now a twelve inch machete! This is not another horror film, it’s not a bad night in a busy, crime ridden city, nor are you just having a bad day at a shopping spree filled with thousands of bloodthirsty people looking for the best deal. It’s the experience millions of Americans flock to every year. But is it really worth it? And what does this really say about us as a people?

(The Humorous Set-up: The writer hints at the humorous tone of the paper in the second sentence, but leaves us hanging for a bit as he describes what will either be a truly frightening or else humorous/zany experience. By the time he makes the “shopping spree” reference, which is tactfully placed at the end of the (rather long) paragraph, we are prepared for the comic tone of the paper.)

Upon observation of the facts, Halloween Horror Nights just doesn’t seem like a worthwhile venture. Not only is it expensive, but the park is also densely crowded. It’s plagued by bad parking, continuous walls of crowds, and lines longer than those found at the DMV, and once again, it’s expensive. It just doesn’t seem to be something that would attract the average American. I don’t know too many people who like spending money, just to wait around in different spots all night, especially when most of us can find jobs that actually pay us to do exactly the same thing.

(Comic Rhythm: like stand-up comedy or sit-coms, a humorous essay should have a sense of rhythm with its comic moments. Too sparse and the reader gets bored; too frequent and he/she becomes distracted.)

The whole experience can be very aggravating. It’s actually a wonder why so many migrate to Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights. First of all tickets start off at around $59. Deals for Florida residents notwithstanding, that’s a lot of money, especially to the younger age group more likely to go. To someone aged about fourteen to about twenty-five, the age group that seems to be most widely present, sixty dollars can be a major dent in one’s wallet. And that’s just the price of admission. Keeping with the theme of most theme parks, sports events, insurance companies, and religious institutions, Universal Studios squeezes you for every penny your worth. The park makes sure that no one brings in their own merchandise. They actually physically search you and your belongings. Granted the reason for that is to stop the flow of drugs, alcohol, and weapons into the park, but if they catch you bringing in a picnic basket of sandwiches, or any outside food, they’ll make you get rid of it before you’re allowed entry into the attraction. After they strip you of your dignity and your carefully hand-crafted, 30 cent sandwiches, they make sure to clean you out by overcharging every single product inside. I remember one slice of pizza and a small drink fell somewhere in the neighborhood of ten to fifteen dollars. Needless to say, other than a bottle of water, that was the only purchase I made. This would logically seem like enough to drive most people away from the attraction. As an American myself, I can tell you the overwhelming joy we take in spending our money. So much in fact that I think they should double the entrance fee. That’s right, and Star Wars was based n a true story a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. But because thinning our wallets is not enough to keep seemingly anybody from attending, Horror Nights tries to scare us away again.

(Humorous Diction: Notice how the writer is playful with his language. The people “migrate” to the park, like so many flocks of birds; the play on “theme” and “theme park”; the slightly over the top reference to “hand-crafted” sandwiches. Too Funny? But can humor be distracting? Is the line about  Star Wars  funny, or just silly? How far is too far?)

After dropping sixty dollars on a ticket, thirty or so on the trip, and another small fortune inside, you are met with one of the most crowded locations on earth, only beaten by the one billion plus population of China, and that’s debatable. The lines are notoriously famous for their length. They’re almost better known than the attractions themselves. Every time the event is the subject of conversation, the long lines come up as an issue. The wait times are so well known in fact, that when someone tells about hour long waits, people show surprise, and remark about how they must be getting shorter. The average time I’ve had to wait in the past has been no less than two hours. I’ve never gotten into an attraction faster than forty five minutes, and that was on a blue moon, during a planetary alignment, at the stroke of midnight. With these wait times, you can only expect to experience a fraction of the attractions you paid to see. In fact, when you go, you pay full well knowing that you’ll only be seeing about two or three of the haunted houses offered. Even though you’re carrying that lucky rabbit’s foot, you woke up on the right side of the bed, and a part of you is hoping that somehow, someway, through the intervention of a higher power, you will just happen to be the only person in the world going on your night, but you know better. But because the lines keep returning along with the event year after year, this is obviously not enough to turn people away. But long lines and empty bank accounts aren’t the end of the horror that is Halloween Horror Nights.

(Appropriate Comical References: Does the line about planetary alignment seem appropriate for the subject matter? Even when trying to make the reader laugh, the humor still manages to remain relevant and appropriate. Transitions: notice how the last two paragraphs have similar transitional sentences at the end. How does the writer avoid boring repetition with humor?)

Not only are the lines insanely long, the park itself is crowded beyond belief. Just walking up to the front gates can sometimes be an act of pure agility, speed, strength, and satellite imagery, in order to find a path through. But once inside, nothing will help you navigate through the masses, unless of course, you happen to be one of the few mystical humans that can fly. There is a literal swarm of people, everywhere you look. The park’s 7 p.m. opening is like a dinner bell to a starved wolf pack, and the place is packed tight no more than fifteen minutes after the hoards of excited patrons are unleashed. You and your friends find yourselves back in kindergarten, holding hands as you travel from place to place, so as not to get lost. If the attractions aren’t enough for you, just going from point A to point B, is an event in itself. Just walking around, you will repeatedly find yourself in intimate contact with complete strangers. Journeying from place to place can sometimes be an experience of personal violation by half of the people you come across. But even the combined issues of the price, the wait, and the can of sardines effect created by the park’s popularity aren’t enough to turn people away.

(Again: Is this humor effective, or too much? If it’s effective, why? If it’s too much, at what point and for what reason?)

Purpose:  This exercise encourages students to discover and invent convincing details. This is a good exercise to use in the beginning of the drafting process, when students are busy building their early writing through the discovery of significant details--but it is also a lesson in revision in that information and detail may be added at any point during the drafting sequence. 

Description:  “Learning to Lie” makes use of each student’s experience, through the selection of exact details, imagery, and sense evocations, in order to illuminate the role of specificity in the writing process

Suggested Time:  As little as 15-20 minutes, or nearly an entire session-- depending on the number of student samples chosen to be read aloud and questioned.

Procedure:  Ask the students to write in two or three sentences, three unusual, startling, or amusing things they did or that happened to them. One thing must be true, the other two must be "lies". Ask them to use specific details.

Read one example as follows: 

Have the students write three of their own. Then have students, one by one, read them to the class. Other students are allowed to ask three questions that pertain specifically to the details. For example, someone might ask (using the example above), "Why did you send Elvis your sister’s picture instead of your own?" Or "What was Buddy Rich playing?" Or "Do you still have the white shoe?"

The writers have to be able to think on their feet, to make up more convincing details, to "lie". Then ask for a vote as to which story is true and which were fictitious. It is surprising how many students find that they are already excellent "storytellers."

Purpose:  This exercise will actively expose students to their own assumptions and biases as well as those of their peers. Students will gain perspective into the filmmaker’s worldviews. It also provides an experience to write descriptively, creating original dialogue for an existing text by examining body language, shots, and pacing.

Description:  The teacher plays a clip from a preferably obscure film. Then, divide the students into groups so that they can create a dialogue for the clip that was played. In doing so, each group should consider both body language, pacing, and shots so that an appropriate tone and plot can be applied. Each group should present what they’ve done and present it to the class, making an argument for how their exchange could match up with what was shown. By reviewing the clip with the sound track in place, students can see how their assumption make the intentions of the filmmakers as well as get a greater idea of how their judgments are based in their experiences with other media.

Procedure:  Choose a scene from a motion picture. Obscure films will probably work best since fewer students will know them already. The scene should have plenty of action or a variety of characters. Play the film clip to the class without sound, but first explain that afterwards they will write a descriptive account of the clip as a group. Suggest that they might want to focus on a single character, invent dialogue, depict the place and time, create a situation or background, or say what happens next. Let them write and share their descriptions with the class. Play the clip again with the sound on and provide the necessary contextual details. Then you may want to ask them to write about the similarities and differences between the group accounts and the screenwriter’s.

Additional Information:  I think this activity affects students more if they perform it after their first paper or after they have participated in several workshops or have read several selections from  Our Own Words . Since its intent is more conceptual that practical, it suits any draft stage.

Purpose of Exercise:  Fosters creative exploration of point of view, detailed description, and narrative as individuals and collaboratively. Good for a short story or personal essay assignment.

Description:  You will need 5 - 13 interesting photographs or stills for your students to work with. This exercise allows students to take a point of view and create a context for it. They then give the pictures purpose in relation to the context they have created. It forces them to bounce ideas off one another in small groups, and to create a plausible start for a fictional work using a point of view other than the personal "I".

Procedure:  Place students in groups of two, giving each group one picture between them. Separately, each student decides the camera’s point of view, creating a character for that point of view.

Coming back into the groups of two, now take each student’s point of view, including its contextual information, and develop a "lead-in" (a paragraph) for a novel, short story, poem, or essay. If there’s time, have each group share with the class and perhaps use this forum to point out effective details, etc.

You may also choose to do this exercise by projecting up to 5 snap shots on the overhead. Give the class 5+ minutes to construct a “lead in” for each photo, being sure to address the 4 elements above. Take time to discuss as a class.

Purpose:  This activity could be useful as a tool for exploring the use of sensory detail and memory to express emotions; it teaches students to read for multiple meanings, and it accompanies Helena Buonagurio's “Not So Perfect Pancake” (2002–03 OOW) or Na Tech's, “Red Hibiscus” (2004–05 OOW).

Description:  Students often find it difficult to successfully incorporate sensory detail to express emotions in their own writing. With this exercise, students will focus on a specific object and express their emotions using details about this object, while also considering the possibility for an object or place of significance to have multiple meanings and associations in one’s life experience. Helena Buonagurio's “Not So-Perfect Pancake,” reveals the power of metaphors in developing meaning: Helena compares her mother’s not so perfect pancakes not only to her overall life experience but also to her mother’s love. Na Tech’s “Red Hibiscus” provides a good example for how you can employ a specific object and describe it using sensory detail in order to show its connection to a meaningful relationship (i.e. the red hibiscus’s connection to the author’s past). Drawing on one of these examples, students will learn to craft meaning(s) from a single object.

Suggested Time:  35-50 minutes

Purpose of Exercise:  This Mad-Libs-style exercise gets students thinking about how language works via an underhanded grammar refresher, and jarring them out of the world of conscious language use.

Description:  You will need index cards; color-coded work best. The idea is that by stringing together random parts of speech, sentences can be constructed which, while they do not make "sense," have, nonetheless, an internal grammatical logic.

Procedure:  Color-coded index cards work well for this: designate a color for each part of speech, making sure that there are twice as many cards for nouns and adjectives (you might ask students to prep for the lesson by bringing in their own cards). Some students who have trouble visualizing what kinds of words fit into each category (Noun, Verb, Adjective, Adverb) may feel too embarrassed to ask, so give a few quick examples to get them going. Ask each student to write down two nouns, two adjectives, one verb and one adverb – each on its own card.

After they have written down their words collect them into four stacks by color and shuffle them. Distribute the cards so that each student once again has a verb, an adverb, and two each of nouns and adjectives. At this point they should begin to arrange their cards to form sentences. Articles and possessive pronouns may be inserted wherever needed and verb tenses may be changed or nouns changed from singular to plural or vice versa. When all are finished go around the room and ask each student to share his or her sentence.

Discuss each sentence in terms of language play and grammar. You might emphasize grammar and focus on subject-verb agreement, subject-action-object, or the effect of punctuation. Or, you might focus on the power of word play, active, illustrative verbs, odd pairings, connotations, metaphor, etc. Help students apply what they’ve learned to their own drafts.

If time allows, students could be asked to write a paragraph or a poem around their sentence to share and discuss with the rest of the class, or as a journal.

Purpose:  Drawing on a childhood memory, this activity allows students to discover the importance of descriptive details. This activity accompanies Autumn T. Harrell's “Jesus Lives” (2004–05 OOW).

Description:  Like “Hypertext” from the Inkwell, this activity serves two purposes: 1) to promote class discussion, especially during the first few classes; and 2) to introduce students to the idea of using descriptive details when they write (this exercise may be most effective with the Visual Strand). This activity can serve as an icebreaker (if used near the beginning of the semester), or it can be used to re-energize your students around when you are about halfway into the semester (or even near the end).

Suggested Time:  If everyone shares their free write (and I would recommend that), the activity could take the whole class period. If not, then plan on 20-30 minutes.

Purpose of Exercise:  This exercise stimulates students to enrich their descriptive writing by using a plain object and writing about it in an extravagant way—using lots of detail, metaphor, and imagery. It makes students develop and possibly appreciate a creative approach to the writing method.

Description:  Students will take a normal object and write a creative description and narrative about the object of their choice. By following a set of questions provided by the instructor, students will write a prose style response – not just a list or catalog.

Suggested Time:  30 – 35 minutes

Procedure:  Students should pick an object that they have easy and tangible access – a pen, teddy bear, a washcloth, ID card, whatever they desire. They should then write a creative response using the following questions or a similar format: 

In order for students to successfully complete the exercise, each question must be answered in sentence form. Encourage students to be creative in the description of the object and its purpose.

Teaching Expertise

20 Creative Writing Activities for Middle School

creative writing activities for middle school

June 10, 2022 //  by  Stephanie Ledford

Some students are prolific writers, needing no help putting pen to paper and telling their stories. However, there are other students who need a little more direction in order to get their stories out. Whatever the case may be, these 20 creative writing activities for middle school will have all of your students showing their creative prowess.

1. I Am From

Screenshot 2022-06-10 180211

After reading the poem "Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyon, have students write their own "I Am From" poems. Using a template, all students will be able to create wonderful poems illustrating their own unique backgrounds.

Learn more: Regents of the University of Minnesota

2. Found Poems


Using the words of others, students create their own "found poems." By taking a snippet here and a line there, they can arrange them in their own creative ways to create new, interesting poems. Reading a book as a class? Have them use the book to create a found poem!

Learn more: Read, Write, Think


After reading "My Name" by Sandra Cisneros , have students create their own name poems. This assignment asks students to connect themselves to something bigger--their families, their cultural, and their historical background. All students will feel like poets after this assignment.

Learn more: Ojanpa

4. Chain Stories


This assignment has each student start with a blank piece of paper. After giving them a writing prompt , every student begins writing a story. After your chosen time limit is up, they stop writing and pass their story to the next person in their group who then has to continue telling the story. When each story returns to its original author, the activity is complete.

Learn more: Creativities ESL

5. Visual Character Sketch

Being able to add depth to a character can be difficult for many students. By allowing a student to create a visual sketch, you are allowing them a different approach to writing a character description.

Learn more: Adobe Education Exchange

6. What If...


"What if" writing prompts are a great way to get students' creative juices flowing. By posing a question, students are given a starting point, and it is up to them what twists and turns their stories will take. Will they write a sad, action-packed, or scary story? The possibilities are endless.

Learn more: The Wolfe's Writing Den

7. Descriptive Writing Prompts


Descriptive writing activities are another way for middle school students to practice their creative writing skills. They can give their descriptions their own unique twists by using their different writing styles to describe common objects. And hey, they might have a different appreciation for the things in their everyday worlds after this assignment!

Learn more: Academic Writing Success

8. Scary Stories


Go through the entire writing process and teach your students how to write scary stories! Before you begin writing, though, read them some (age-appropriate) scary stories to give them the chills and an idea of what is expected in a scary story.

Learn more: Keep 'em Thinking

9. Daily Journal Writing


There is no better way to improve students' writing abilities than to do daily writing. Each day, give students a different prompt and allow them to write for fifteen minutes. After, allow them the opportunity to share their story with their peers or the class.

Learn more: Daily Teaching Tools

10. So Much Depends Upon...


" The Red Wheel Barrow "--such a simple yet eloquent poem. Following this lesson plan, your students will be able to write their own simple yet eloquent poems and feel like accomplished writers.

Learn more: NYLearns

11. An Ode to...


Reluctant writers are often intimidated by complicated writing ideas. By using a template like the one pictured above, your students will all be able to feel like poets as they create their own odes about a person, place, or thing.

Learn more: Crafting Connections

12. Story Starters


Story starters are a great way to help students begin their stories. If you have a digital classroom, the Scholastic story starter page is great because it can formulate much different writing prompts, helping engage all students.

Learn more: Scholastic

13. My Time Machine Trip


What is everyday life like in 1902? How about in 2122? Have students write stories about their experiences traveling through time using the attached worksheet. For those that need a little extra help, allow them to research time periods so they have an idea of what life was like then.

Learn more: K12 Reader

14. Writing and Math


This is a great assignment for a math class! Using the provided instructions, students are to write a story that explains to their boss the math they used while delivering packages. Since this assignment asks them to cover specific math concepts, make sure you cover them in class first (or hand this assignment to a math teacher and let them have at it!).

Learn more: Dr. Hamblin

15. How to Bake Cookies for Santa


Seasonal writing activities are a great way to get kids excited around the holidays! One way to get descriptive paragraphs out of your students is through these instructions on how to bake cookies for Santa. The great thing about this assignment is all levels of writers can participate. Those that are more advanced can provide more details and struggling writers can still feel accomplished by explaining the cookie-making process!

Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers

16. Diary Entry of a Literary Character


Another favorite among creative writing ideas is having students write diary entries in the voice of a character from literature. This can be a character from a book you read as a class or from a book they read on their own. Either way, it will showcase their creative writing skills and their knowledge of the character!

Learn more: Banana Magic

17. Write a Rant


Writing a rant is a good assignment to use when you are trying to teach about the different voices we use when writing. When writing a rant, you are going to use an angrier, more aggressive voice than if you were writing a children's story. This is a great warm-up to get students ready to write persuasive essays.

Learn more: Teachers and Writers Magazine

18. Write a Newspaper Story


After reading through some newspapers to get ideas on how newspaper articles are formatted, have each of your students write their own article. When they are all done, you can compile a classroom newspaper!

Learn more: Nie Online

19. Coat of Arms


Studying Shakespeare? Maybe European countries where it was common to have a Coat of Arms? If so, this assignment is perfect for your class. Have students create a coat of arms and then write a few paragraphs explaining their choices.

20. A Letter to Yourself


Have students write letters to their future selves. Give them specific questions to answer like "where do you see yourself in five years? Are you happy with your life? Is there anything you would change?" And then in five years, mail the letters to their parents!

Learn more: Ms. Carota

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    Purpose of Exercise: Fosters creative exploration of point of view, detailed description, and narrative as individuals and collaboratively. Good for a short

  6. 20 Creative Writing Activities for Middle School

    Some students are prolific writers, needing no help putting pen to paper and telling their stories. However, there are other students who

  7. Descriptive Writing

    Descriptive writing is one of the most important skills that children will learn in school and progress into life. It's something they will use and expand

  8. Descriptive Writing

    This style of writing uses lots of small details to create a clear picture of what's going on. Typically, these involve the five senses, and help the reader to

  9. Creative Writing Examples & Styles

    The dictionary defines creative writing as writing that displays imagination or invention. Creative, artistic writing uses words to convey

  10. High School Creative Writing Curriculum

    Course Description: Creative Writing is designed for students to create original forms of descriptive writing, poetry, drama and fiction. Vocabulary development