Sunday, April 5, 2009

Creative Writing Prompts for Daily Writing

Daily writing is an important part of English fluency -- the student learns not only how to use the language to create syntactically and grammatically correct sentences, but he learns to create a continuous stream of ideas that are connected by some common theme. It's this fluidity that makes up the most important aspect of fluency. Read our previous blog post revealing the AVKO sample weekly planner. But, what should the students write about each day? To be honest, it doesn't matter. The content does not matter nearly as much as the growing ability to express oneself, connect one's thoughts in a logical manner, and keep the ideas coming. Make it a point to have 5-10 minutes daily of writing time.

Students may wish to write about their day and what they learned that day. Even if your students aren't as excited about scholastic pursuits, this can be an important exercise to review what was learned, realize what they still don't understand or have questions about, and...*gasp*...appreciate what they learned that day.

You and your students may choose to have the daily writing time to be more or less a journaling exercise where students write about what they did that day. This is best for younger children.

For older students, a more creative approach is more useful.

Here are a few creative writing prompts that you can use with your children for this daily writing time:
  • Personify an animal, object (a rock, your home), or an abstract noun. Make the object come to life by describing what that object would look like, talk like, and act like as a person. See the Mrs. Rogers site for a list of Abstract Nouns.
  • Collect a bunch of paintings, pictures, and illustrations about which the student can create a story. What are the people doing? Thinking? Feeling? What are they about to do? If the picture is a landscape: Who are the people who live there? What is a typical day like there? This prompt works very well with more visual students or those who really love art. It's also good interpersonal skills training for being able to empathize with others, recognize emotions and motivations, etc. Impressionist paintings tend to work very well for this task. Do a Google Images search for paintings, or see art sites like this one on Impressionism.
  • Hypothetical questions: If you went back in time, where and when would you go? If you were a person of the opposite sex for one day, what would you do? If you were a tree, which type of tree would you be? If you could have a superpower, which one would you want to have? Come up with your own or see this list of hypothetical questions you can use.

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