There’s a real merit to teaching children how to write stories on their own, aside from opening up the possibility of a creative writing career in the future. When students are able to gain mastery in crafting narratives, they’re able to improve cognitive faculties, develop empathy for others, and express their emotions better. That said, sharpen your young students’ creative writing skills with these strategies:
Go back to the basics
You should be able to teach the basic elements of a narrative: characterization and plot. Ask students who’s going to be the “star” in their story. Let them name it. Encourage them to describe it in terms of how the character looks like, how they speak, why they think in a certain way, whom they love to hang out with, whom they’re afraid of, etc. There are many character inspirations out there: in animated video clips, books, nature, or real-life people. Hence, exhaust different media and platforms for sources of different characters. After building the personas in the story, encourage the students to build the plot by asking what will happen to their characters. Your students should be able to decide when and where the story is taking place as well.
Let them read, read, read
Regular reading is the key to better writing. Thus, ask your students to pick up a new book they’d be reading for a certain period. Each week, let them share what they read. The act of narrating in front of the whole class or to a group of people will improve their thought organization and storytelling skills, so dedicate a session for sharing. You can also organize a book in a box project instead of the traditional book reviews. Ask them to pick one interesting scene from the book they’ve read and to make it come alive in a book in a box. This will further stretch their creativity and imagination, which are helpful for when they write their own stories. Of course, students must be given the chance to read their own stories themselves. At the end of each writing session, ask some students to go in front and read a piece of what they wrote for that period. This will allow them to take a look again at what they did, improve their writing, and boost their confidence in writing.
Keeping a journal can greatly help with expanding vocabulary and make expressing emotions like a reflex. Hence, encourage your students to have a journal. Let them have a writing buddy who can check up on them every once in a while if they’re able to keep up with the daily logs. Plan an outing as well so that they can have more experiences to write down in their journal. At the end of the school year, ask students to pick one or two journal entries they want to publish. Compile the pieces in a book and organize a launch for it.
Again, there are many benefits to teaching creative writing at a very young age. Therefore, let your students learn this beautiful art with the strategies mentioned above.