Engagement in Creative Writing
This lesson plan included below is designed for a two-day writing activity. It was developed during my teaching practicum teaching Literacy to Grade 7 students. The main purpose of this activity it to teach students the benefits of outlining to create an original story. Before this lesson, students should already by aware of the 5 Parts of Story, 7 Types of Conflict, and setting. In this lesson plan, you, the teacher, will spend the first day doing guided practice with the whole class before letting them work in groups on the second day. You will begin by creating an outline for an original short story with your class. Ask your class for suggestions for a setting, then for developing a central character, then ask them to suggest what this character might be doing based on the setting and defined characteristics, and outline your plot from there. I highly suggest taking a series of options from your students and choosing the one which best suits your lesson! In my experience, it can quickly get derailed by silly suggestions if you go with whatever is being thrown at you. This activity is a fun way of engaging your students' imaginations while teaching them comprehensive techniques to begin their writing. On the second day, put your students into 2-3 person groups and let them practice the outlining techniques by outlining and writing an original scene. I find that writing dialogue is quicker than writing a full story, while establishing the benefits of the outlining. Finally, encourage your students to share their work with the class!
I always knew that kids have a lot of imagination, and developing this lesson plan gave me a better understanding of how to guide and focus that creative energy. During the writing process, my students tended to want to go straight to writing the dialogue, so I learned to ask them about their character and story outline, as it reminded them that outlining makes writing the story easier. This lesson was also designed as part of an overall participation mark, rather than a specifically graded assignment. It can be marked and assessed, if desired, based on how detailed their outline is, rather than the final outcome of their written scene. This assignment is meant to be a fun and creative way to engage the students while developing a foundational skill, so have fun and see what your students will surprise you with!