I have chosen to write a unit about creative writing because I would like to see children do more in the area of creative writing. In reading class, the students practice vocabulary, comprehension, and word skills. In English class grammar is drilled into them. Students do not have time to express themselves freely in writing. They must always follow the daily pattern in reading class or English class. Most teachers do a creative writing project around a holiday season, or when they want a change of pace. For these reasons, I have developed a creative writing unit.
After a great deal of reading and studying, I have devised a creative writing unit which has four building blocks. These four building blocks are the objectives of my unit. The first objective or building block is to expose the students to words. I do not intend to teach the history of words, because this is not a linguistics unit, but I do hope to teach my students that words are fun. J want the students to various activities I set up in my unit how words can be fun. I also want them to see how words can be used. The section on words is not merely a vocabulary lesson. It should make words alive for students.
The second building block or objective is to have students work with sentences. The purpose of this objective is twofold: 1) I would like to have the students study the different arrangements of one sentence that can be made without changing its meaning, and 2) I would like to work with the classification of sentences. Teachers must keep in mind that this section need not turn into a grammar lesson. This work on sentences has already been given to them in the intermediate grades. You are merely refreshing it for them. I have included activities on sentences which will make this section of the unit interesting to them.
I to start my unit with these two objectives of creative writing. Instead they are using words creatively, then using sentences creatively. This sequence will lead gradually into the third building block or objective, which is to work with the different forms writing can take.
In this section of my unit the students will be writing pieces of their own. They will graduate from words and sentences into actual writing forms such as letters, poetry, etc. I believe moving the students along gradually like this will not make them as inhibited as ii we, the teacher, told them at Thanksgiving time: “Today you are to write a poem about Thanksgiving.”
In the third section of my unit the students are not left completely on their own. They are continually being guided. But the important fact is that they are producing their own pieces of creative writing. They are guided but not stifled.
The final building block or objective of my unit is the organization of a story. I have chosen this culminating objective because this is a much longer piece of creative writing and also because it will be a group effort.
The students up to this point have worked individually on shorter pieces au writing. Now is the time to lead them to longer pieces of writing without frightening them.
If you follow these four building blocks you will have a successful creative writing year. All my material i9 presented at a slow gradual pace, designed so that the students will enjoy creative writing. Many methods are not original but have been included because I have tried them and had success with them. I also have included some fresh methods. Read the unit through; then you can pick and choose what is appropriate for your level.