This week we are exploring some creative writing tools. To start with, this is a short story started I created for our course.
It was a calm Sunday morning. I was enjoying my breakfast in bed when I heard a scratchy noise on my door. “Jack” I shrieked “not today mate, I’m relaxing”. He didn’t relent though. Stretching, I slowly got out of bed and opened the door. He jumped at me. “OK, OK, we’ll go for a walk today”. Next thing I knew, I was crossing the main road with an over-excited dog barking around. You see, Jack is not your usual dog. Though he enjoys his walks, he barks at anything (and anyone!) who is just walking lazily around. We soon arrived to Bondi Beach, which is usually busy on a Sunday, but as it was quite early, there were only a couple of oldies enjoying their beach walk. I never let Jack out of the leash, because I cannot muster the strength to have to do CPR on someone if he bites them on the wrong spot! He is quite friendly though, considering he’s a German pastor and barks frantically about scaring the living daylights out of people. As I was trying to get him to walk more of less straight, I suddenly spotted a wonderful sight: Dolphins! I couldn’t believe my eyes (or luck) because I’ve only seen whales once in my life and not at Bondi. I wonder what strange marine even could ever attract dolphins to visit Bondi. Maybe they knew it was Australia Day!…
I have explored a couple of tools and I liked “Five card”
1- Because I had never heard of it before.
2- Because I found it exciting for me and my students. It allows students to develop visual thinking as images are randomly generated and students need to pick ONLY 5 to make up their own story. When they do so, they get a permalink to their story that obviously can be added to their blog or any other platform to share with an authentic audience.
Pros: Practice creative writing in a certain context. They could pick pictures that deal with the English area of study (Belonging)
Cons: It can be a con if the teacher is quite rigorous on what she wants since this activity is quite free and allows students who might be struggling to come up with ideas to enjoy the art of creative writing.
I also liked Scholastic’s “Story starters” but obviously this is suitable for Primary students only. It would also aid students who might be struggling for ideas. However, explicit teaching of grammar, vocabulary, syntactic structures, etc would also help students writing their work effortlessly (or at least “more easily”).