Creative writing exercises high school students


Creative Writing Prompts for High School Students

Select a color and personify it. What does it taste like and sound like? How does it move? What does it want and fear? What special powers does it have? Imagine you are graduating in several months.

Write a graduation speech to your fellow students. What would you say to inspire them? How would you make them laugh? What would you like them to remember? Envision a future in which you have a personalized robot who does all of your work. What features would your robot possess? How would you interact with it?

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What would it be capable of doing? Create a brand new holiday.

How would people celebrate the holiday? What traditions, foods, and decorations would accompany it? There are a lot of different types of blogs.

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Study poems as paired texts. Analyze lines from a famous soundtrack. Ask students to bring in their favorite songs and discuss. Students need to know that poetry is not dead. In April, my classes come alive with the magic of slam poetry as students become authors and performers. They re-discover wonder and learn to let down their guard. They learn that there is intersectionality between their story and the stories of others.

They are appreciated. They appreciate others. When I use this fun poetry activity for high school students , my classroom really becomes a true community. Not sure which slam poems are school-appropriate and engaging? Here are 40 of my favorite slam poems! This is an oldie, but goodie poetry writing exercise for high school students.

Copy a page or two from a whole class novel. Or better yet, choose a completely divergent text, maybe a science textbook or page from a dictionary. Students string together words on the page to form a poem, and black-out the rest of the words. If they want to go above and beyond, they can create an original illustration to accompany their blackout poem. Take your students to the library or have them browse a site like Goodreads and challenge them to create poems from book titles. Each title becomes a line in the poem.

An optional challenge: have students choose or randomly draw a theme, and their poem has to relate to their chosen theme. I created these templates as a quick fun poetry activity for high school sophomores after my librarian told me that having my classes pull so many books would be a pain to re-shelve. A lot of teachers are loving my reading progressive dinner stations. Poems are short and accessible texts that always rock when used with this activity. Students elaborate on the word by writing sentences and creating an illustration.

In the process, they make extensive use of the dictionary and thesaurus. One student describes her personality as sometimes "caustic," illustrating the word with a photograph of a burning car in a war zone. Her caption explains that she understands the hurt her "burning" sarcastic remarks can generate. John Levine, a teacher-consultant with the Bay Area Writing Project California , helps his college freshmen integrate the ideas of several writers into a single analytical essay by asking them to create a dialogue among those writers.

He tells his students, for instance, "imagine you are the moderator of a panel discussion on the topic these writers are discussing. Consider the three writers and construct a dialogue among the four 'voices' the three essayists plus you.

Levine tells students to format the dialogue as though it were a script. The essay follows from this preparation. The following is a group poem created by second grade students of Michelle Fleer, a teacher-consultant with the Dakota Writing Project South Dakota. Underwater Crabs crawl patiently along the ocean floor searching for prey. Fish soundlessly weave their way through slippery seaweed Whales whisper to others as they slide through the salty water.

And silent waves wash into a dark cave where an octopus is sleeping. Fleer helped her students get started by finding a familiar topic. In this case her students had been studying sea life. She asked them to brainstorm language related to the sea, allowing them time to list appropriate nouns, verbs, and adjectives. The students then used these words to create phrases and used the phrases to produce the poem itself. As a group, students put together words in ways Fleer didn't believe many of them could have done if they were working on their own, and after creating several group poems, some students felt confident enough to work alone.


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Douglas James Joyce, a teacher-consultant with the Denver Writing Project , makes use of what he calls "metawriting" in his college writing classes. He sees metawriting writing about writing as a way to help students reduce errors in their academic prose. Joyce explains one metawriting strategy: After reading each essay, he selects one error that occurs frequently in a student's work and points out each instance in which the error is made.

He instructs the student to write a one page essay, comparing and contrasting three sources that provide guidance on the established use of that particular convention, making sure a variety of sources are available. Glorianne Bradshaw, a teacher-consultant with the Red River Valley Writing Project North Dakota , decided to make use of experiences from her own life when teaching her first-graders how to write. For example, on an overhead transparency she shows a sketch of herself stirring cookie batter while on vacation. She writes the phrase "made cookies" under the sketch.

Then she asks students to help her write a sentence about this. She writes the words who , where , and when. Using these words as prompts, she and the students construct the sentence, "I made cookies in the kitchen in the morning. Next, each student returns to the sketch he or she has made of a summer vacation activity and, with her help, answers the same questions answered for Bradshaw's drawing. Then she asks them, "Tell me more. Do the cookies have chocolate chips? Does the pizza have pepperoni?

Rather than taking away creativity, Bradshaw believes this kind of structure gives students a helpful format for creativity. Stephanie Wilder found that the grades she gave her high school students were getting in the way of their progress.

25 Ways to Get Kids Writing | Scholastic

The weaker students stopped trying. Other students relied on grades as the only standard by which they judged their own work. She continued to comment on papers, encourage revision, and urge students to meet with her for conferences. But she waited to grade the papers. It took a while for students to stop leafing to the ends of their papers in search of a grade, and there was some grumbling from students who had always received excellent grades. But she believes that because she was less quick to judge their work, students were better able to evaluate their efforts themselves.

Erin Pirnot Ciccone, teacher-consultant with the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project , found a way to make more productive the "Monday morning gab fest" she used as a warm-up with her fifth grade students. She conceived of "Headline News. After the headlines had been posted, students had a chance to guess the stories behind them. The writers then told the stories behind their headlines. As each student had only three minutes to talk, they needed to make decisions about what was important and to clarify details as they proceeded. They began to rely on suspense and "purposeful ambiguity" to hold listeners' interest.

On Tuesday, students committed their stories to writing. Because of the "Headline News" experience, Ciccone's students have been able to generate writing that is focused, detailed, and well ordered. Patricia A. Slagle, high school teacher and teacher-consultant with the Louisville Writing Project Kentucky , understands the difference between writing for a hypothetical purpose and writing to an audience for real purpose. She illustrates the difference by contrasting two assignments.

15 Fun Poetry Activities for High School

She began with: "Imagine you are the drama critic for your local newspaper. Write a review of an imaginary production of the play we have just finished studying in class. They must adapt to a voice that is not theirs and pretend to have knowledge they do not have.


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  • Slagle developed a more effective alternative: "Write a letter to the director of your local theater company in which you present arguments for producing the play that we have just finished studying in class. Mark Farrington, college instructor and teacher-consultant with the Northern Virginia Writing Project , believes teaching revision sometimes means practicing techniques of revision. An exercise like "find a place other than the first sentence where this essay might begin" is valuable because it shows student writers the possibilities that exist in writing.

    In his college fiction writing class, Farrington asks students to choose a spot in the story where the main character does something that is crucial to the rest of the story. At that moment, Farrington says, they must make the character do the exact opposite. Bernadette Lambert, teacher-consultant with the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project Georgia , wondered what would happen if she had her sixth-grade students pair with an adult family member to read a book.

    She asked the students about the kinds of books they wanted to read mysteries, adventure, ghost stories and the adults about the kinds of books they wanted to read with the young people character-building values, multiculturalism, no ghost stories. Using these suggestions for direction, Lambert developed a list of 30 books.

    From this list, each student-adult pair chose one. They committed themselves to read and discuss the book and write separate reviews. Most of the students, says Lambert, were proud to share a piece of writing done by their adult reading buddy. Several admitted that they had never before had this level of intellectual conversation with an adult family member. Suzanne Linebarger, a co-director of the Northern California Writing Project , recognized that one element lacking from many of her students' stories was tension.

    One day, in front of the class, she demonstrated tension with a rubber band. Looped over her finger, the rubber band merely dangled. It's the tension, the potential energy, that rivets your attention. It's the same in writing. Linebarger revised a generic writing prompt to add an element of tension.

    creative writing exercises high school students Creative writing exercises high school students
    creative writing exercises high school students Creative writing exercises high school students
    creative writing exercises high school students Creative writing exercises high school students
    creative writing exercises high school students Creative writing exercises high school students
    creative writing exercises high school students Creative writing exercises high school students
    creative writing exercises high school students Creative writing exercises high school students
    creative writing exercises high school students Creative writing exercises high school students
    creative writing exercises high school students Creative writing exercises high school students
    Creative writing exercises high school students

Related creative writing exercises high school students



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