It seemed fitting that I would teach a Creative Writing Class for Children, a summer program that I designed for motivated children ages eight to thirteen, here in a Big Ten university town.
Amazingly, the class is quite effective with the huge age range.
The kids enjoy playing the game as they munch on snacks.
Since most of the students initially don’t know each other because they come from different schools and are in different grades, we introduce ourselves and state our goals for being in the class.
The exercise we do on Day One has been very successful as an icebreaker.
I ask students to write for five minutes; I keep a list of ideas in case the students need a jump start on their writing.
We discuss the effective use of dialogue and quotations.
Students enjoy reading and critiquing each other’s stories. Students create a story around an unusual scenario, problem or character such as a dentist with no teeth or coming to a party in costume when it turns out it is not a costume party.
I stress that a good story doesn’t need to “look pretty”; I am seeking creative and interesting content.
We also discuss how to critique writing, and that it involves positive, constructive comments about the writing and not about the writer.