Inspiration for Creative Writing

MultiGenre Project - Katie Hoeflich

Burning Question

What ways can teachers help their students find inspiration for and develop their creative writing?

Dear Reader

There are too many children in the world not able to learn to their full potential because of the lack of inspiration and developmental strategies. Not all schools are equipped with proper tools and teachers are not equipped with enough knowledge and resources. This is especially true when it comes to language arts, reading and writing. When I was in elementary school, inspiration was nonexistent and my teachers did not use proper strategies when teaching writing, especially creative writing. I feel like this caused me to hate writing in general throughout my life. No one ever showed me how fun and interesting writing could be. The majority of my writings were not creative and lacked the correct structures and depth. As a future teacher I want to help my students be passionate about their writing, and not see it the way I did growing up. I want to find strategies and tools which make the process more visual and enjoyable for them. This is why I chose, “What ways can teachers help their students find inspiration for and develop their creative writing?” as my burning question.


I wanted to find out as much as I could that would improve students’ attitudes about writing. Writing should be fun and inspired by ideas that students want to write about. So, I began by researching ways teachers can help their students be more inspired to write. Also, I researched topics that were more inspiring or interesting to write about. Next I began researching creative writing more specifically. I wanted to find strategies and tools which organized their thinking and gave the students more to write about. I searched in online library databases, reading through a large variety of articles. I also researched on educational websites, which were created to provide tools for teachers. I also researched on other educational websites, which were created for an elementary student audience, providing game like activities and tools for them. Throughout my research I watched a few videos as well.


I learned a great deal throughout my research, as well as throughout the creating of pieces to represent it. There are more resources out there today than ever before. I now have many tools and strategies I can and will use in my future classroom. I hope my students find inspiration and develop a passion for their writing. I also hope they learn to organize their thoughts and develop thorough and creative writing pieces using the tools I found throughout this project.


Enjoy,

Katie Hoeflich

Informational Essay

Many students today are graduating high school without ever having an enjoyable writing experience. They are not enjoying it or learning to their full potential because of the lack of inspiration and developmental strategies. Educators are developing and researching ways to improve this issue constantly. Thanks to their continuous research we now have a variety of resources at our finger tips. Their research answers the burning question, “What ways can teachers help their students find inspiration for and develop their creative writing?”


One way to inspire a student to write, as well as develop their creative writing is to help them find their identity as a writer. Brace says, “Creative writing remains in the heart of how the writers talk about what they do.” She elaborates on this by saying writers not only “do” writing but they engage in “being” a writer in a performance sense (Brace, 2010). Teachers must encourage and assist students into doing this. Instead of simply telling those students to write on a topic, or giving them a spelling test, the teacher should ask the students what they think they should do in order to improve their writing on their own. The teacher should be there for a guide, not as a boss. “The rules of writing are that there are no rules” (Gillespie, 2013).


Another way to inspire students to write creatively comes from an acting group called “Story Pirates”. They travel to schools around the world and act out student written stories. This can also be done in a classroom without the “Story Pirates.” Students can act out their own stories to the class, as well as act out other students’ stories. Allowing the students to act out stories and see their stories being acted out motivates and inspires them to think more and write more.


Providing feedback is vital to a students’ success and it should not stifle students’ creativity. One way to do this is to allow students to read each other’s work and comment on it (Essex, 1997). A few more ways to inspire students to write are, allowing them to pick their own topics, using Story Maps, modeling from the teacher, reading a variety of books, publishing and using Story Starters.

Substantive Pieces

Story Reenactment (Video)

Next I chose to create a video which reenacted the story I wrote from the Story Starter spin wheel from Scholastic Inc. I thought this would be a great representation of my topic because it not only covers the creative writing aspect but it also connects with finding inspiration. One of my resources was an article, Putting Student Writing Center Stage. The article is about an acting group called Story Pirates, who will come to your school and act out the student written stories. The article points out how acting out stories motivates and inspires students to think more and write more creatively. I agree with this entirely, and I feel it would even be a great idea to have the students act out their own or their peers’ stories as well.
http://youtu.be/Cn2XeZC4EPI

Short Pieces

ABC Book

I chose to create an ABC book because I felt it would provide many different ways students could find inspiration for their writing as well as provide ways to improve their writing. When creating this I reviewed many of the articles I read about my topic. I went through them and took out as many suggestions and tips I could find. I also searched for words that were important to the meaning of creative writing. Once I found the words I matched them up with the letter of the alphabet and made it flow the best I could. I begins with A – acting out and ends with Z – Zzzzzzz…Get some rest!

Award

I chose to create an award because it is another piece I can and will use in the classroom when I am a teacher. In the article, Teaching Creative Writing in the Elementary School, it points out the importance of providing feedback to the students, as well as the students being able to provide feedback to one another. Essex says the feedback should not stifle students’ creativity but instead should be full of encouragement. Feedback should also recognize when students accomplish goals or are doing well. It should also be specific and descriptive. This award, is something small but it allows students to know when they are doing well and they will be less likely to give up. The example award I created says, “To Sophia for writing about a new topic and for creating an image in our minds!” When the award is presented the teacher should also elaborate and specify what the student has done well.

Acrostic Poem

I chose to create an acrostic poem because it creates a visual of what creative writing is all about. Poetry can be used to create images in peoples’ minds, so I thought I could do the same and use it to describe what creative writing is and what inspires it. I looked through many of the articles I used to research this topic and found what improves a student’s creative writing and how they can find inspiration. The word I chose to represent the acrostic was INSPIRATION, the “I” standing for imaginative, the “N” standing for new ideas, the “S” standing for Strategy, and so on. I would also like to hang this up in my classroom to create an image in my students’ minds.

Menu

I chose to create a menu because it also displays many different ways students could find inspiration for their writing as well as provide ways to improve their writing. I also chose it because, as a future teacher, I am always looking for new tools for my classroom. And, the menu I created would work as a great tool in the classroom. I began with the idea of a menu which is used at home, when planning meals for the week. I have seen these in peoples’ houses. They can plan ahead for the week and it saves them the trouble of coming up with something new every night. Instead of food choices, I replaced them with activities which are used to inspire topics and help with creative writing. For example, instead of Taco Night, I wrote “Provide Feedback.” I found the activities from a variety of articles and other resources.