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September Round-up

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There have been a whole heap of fabulous posts, articles and lesson plans about creative writing around the web this month, which makes me feel slightly better about the fact this blog continues to be a little neglected…

Firstly, Jeremy Harmer has written about a great lesson idea based around the idea of being a ghostwriter over on his blogs. I love writing activities like this that require students to really push the limits of their language and relies on a degree of communication and collaboration.

Adam Simpson shared five nice writing warm-up ideas, and also included ideas on how you could follow them up.

As a cat lover, I enjoyed Mona Kisala’s lesson idea based around a very cute cat picture story, which has possibilities for either writing or a role-play, would be great for young learners.

Another high quality lesson plan over on Film English this month, which involves reading and writing a poem, and some lovely work on text speak that I can see teenagers really appreciating.

I also came across this interesting website which focuses on the idea of online reading groups to encourage ELT teachers and TESOL students to read literature in English, and also to discuss what they are reading. It is particularly focused on people that might not have good access to texts in English. There is even the opportunity to publish your own writing on the site.

Nicola Prentis was contemplating the wider question of how we teach (or regain?) creativity in the class this month in a post which also attracted some insightful comments.

Finally, not specifically about ELT, but with some useful tips for anyone teaching creative writing, was this article on the Guardian’s teaching pages.

May Round-up

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Welcome to the May round-up on Creativities. This month there has been some really great ideas related to creative writing so I hope you check them out and are inspired by them.

The iDTi blog had a great series of blogs on ‘Music, Stories and Magic’ that are well worth reading. Of particular note is Kevin Stein’s post on using literature with his classes, and looking at exploring the gaps in texts.

Kevin Stein also wrote a post on his blog about writing six word memoirs (which I wrote about here) with his students. He has some really nice ideas about extending this task and the post is a great reflective take on what happened in his class when he tried this activity.

The Teacher James wrote about some interesting found poem activities on his blog, using book titles and blackout poems with texts. ESL hip-hop followed this up with a nice lesson plan on making poems using rap album titles.

Marisa Constantinides has just written a great post describing the benefits of digital storytelling for both younger and older learners (including leading to learners creating their own stories), as well as mentioning some tools to try in class.

Adi Rajan wrote about using an interesting short film as an audio-visual writing prompt over on his blog.

Finally, right back at the beginning of the month, Nik Peachy wrote about using poems for pronunciation practice as one of his daily activities for students. Pronunciation is one of my favourite ways of using poems in class too.

Creativities’ monthly round-ups are going on a short hiatus over the summer as I will be away from the end of next month but I will be back for a bumper round-up in August so please get in touch via twitter (@jo_cummins) or via Creativities’ facebook page if you write or read any great posts on creative writing in ELT over the next couple of months.

April Round-up

kewWow, April is over already?! Due to general busyness and internet connection issues I only managed one post (Soap Opera Dramas) this month, but I did add a new page of creative writing prompts, and I’m on the look out for more suggestions!

I feel there is quite possibly lots of great posts I’ve missed this month due to aforementioned problems so please add a comment if you have read/written anything relevant and I’ll add it in. Although a lot of the blog action has been IATEFL related this month, here are some great creative writing related posts for you to explore.

Firstly, this month is Poetry month, and there has been a couple of poetry related posts this month. Sylvia Guinan wrote a fabulous post full of ideas for using poetry in teaching. It’s given me lots of ideas for future posts here. Ljiljana Havran also has recently written a great post on ‘grammaring’ which involves turning prose into poems and vice versa.

A nice idea from Richard Byrne here involving art work, storytelling and recording a narration.

Also, just sneaking into the round-up, was a post by Adi Rajan with an unusual, physical writing prompt idea.

Ian James gave a preview of his talk from the fabulous looking upcoming Image Conference. His talk is on using Student generated images in class and there are some nice creative ideas. I wish I could make it to the talk but the post is a great start!

Another person talking at the Image Conference will be Kieran Donaghy. Every month he seems to have a great lesson on his Film English site that incorporates creative writing, and this month is no exception with this lesson plan that has a short story writing exercise as a pre-watching activity.

TEFLtastic blog collected together a list of their worksheets related to storytelling, lots of ideas I need to explore in more detail!

Finally, for any teachers of Young Learners, I really like this article by Karen Frazier on the OUP blog on teaching them writing.

March Round-up

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I know it’s a couple of days early for the March round-up but I am going to be far too busy eating chocolate at the weekend! It’s been a busy, cold month here. We’re still waiting for Spring to arrive (I struggled to find a brave daffodil in bloom for the photo above!) I finally published the post that hopefully explains what I am trying to do on this blog (Why use Creative Writing in ELT?) as well as posts on fairy tales and another on similes. There has been lots of other interesting things on creative writing happening around the web though.

This month I discovered Umes Shrestha’s blog ‘Oh, late became!’. Umes is a Nepali English teacher, and a fan of using creative writing. His blog is an eclectic mix of gems, but this month I particularly enjoyed his lesson plan using a Nepali folk story and his post sharing student poems as published in a local newspaper. He also shared some haikus his class had written.

Right at the beginning of the month, Josette LeBlanc shared a rather hypnotic, meditative short story on her blog, ‘Throwing Back Tokens’. I thought the use of photos in the story would be a lovely thing to explore in class with students’ stories, especially ones about personal experiences.

Kevin Stein shared one of his favourite creative writing lessons with a lesson plan called ‘But Is it Art?’, combining writing about and drawing works of abstract art.

I also came across a ‘storytelling gapfill’ activity, ‘Elf Story’, on Jamie Keddie’s  ‘Lessonstream’ site.  I could see this working really well with all sorts of stories and is a great way of encouraging students to do intensive listening and think about lexical chunks.

Using comic strips is a great way of getting students to play around with narratives and dialogue, and also being economical with words (another form of very short stories perhaps?). This post by Christina Martidou has lots of great links, and teaching ideas for using comic strips in class, great for young learners and teenagers, but also fun for adults too.

Kieran Donaghy shared another great lesson plan on Film English which incorporates a short film, creative writing and a poem by Leonard Cohen (although I’m still feeling upset that Leonard Cohen is writing poems for Sony!)

Finally, I was sent a link to an article by Scott Stillar in this month’s TESOL Journal about using creative writing to raise critical consciousness by letter writing. I thought it was a very interesting idea, and one that could be easily adapted to other teaching contexts.

That’s all for this month, and happy Easter if you are celebrating it.

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