16 May 2013

Rip the Page! Adventures in Creative Writing.

Recently, I have implemented some time at the start of each lesson for creative writing. I have allowed learners to bring in their own 'special' books and have given them 20 minutes at the start of each class to explore and play with language, as well as put into practice some techniques we have been learning.

I have tried a variety of methods to inspire their creativity including:-

  • free writing - no boundaries, write what you want/feel
  • art-inspired - we visited the IB art exhibition and they wrote based on the work that 'spoke' to them
  • walk-around - we moved about the school and stopped in various places to write what we saw/felt/heard/smelled etc.
  • breathing kindness - to build on the work we are doing to develop kindness in our current unit, based on the novel Stargirl, we did some meditation. Each inhalation 'sucked' out of the world something unpleasant, negative or unkind. Each exhalation transformed that into something pleasant, kind and positive
Last week, Year 9 were working on reviewing and consolidating their understanding of sentences. In our creative writing time, I challenged them to use their learning to create sentences that were grammatically correct, yet did not make sense!

Learners were provided sentences starters and asked to finish them; the final sentence was not to make sense, but had to use correct grammar and punctuation. Learners then chose their favourite sentences and played around with them, explored patterns and experimented with editing and reworking the order and syntax until they had created poetry.

Read some of the results below, or visit the Year 9 Blog to read more.


Whatever you do, don't make sense!

The Creative Mind by Katie Walker

At the top,
tomorrow waits for the future that we will soon call the good old days.
The hiding place of rain shivers underneath the turtle’s shell.
The antonym of pink is showers, no love.
If you look underneath peace, you might hear nothingness.
When you toss sadness to the wind, it returns in an owl’s eye.
At the center of boredom is an anonymous thrill.
The rock bottom of October will never await the never-ending string.
When you tiptoe through the Valley of Happiness, you might find a reflection.

Untitled by Paarvv Goel

At the top of tomorrow waits a table with wheels and an attached gun
and knitting kit.
The swirl of loneliness sounds like an old man drinking water.
When you toss sadness to the wind, it returns as
a glue stick.
When you tiptoe through the valley of happiness, you might find a gold marker.
The shape of the past fits inside a wine glass.
The enemy of green hides between the window and
black piece of paper.
If you jump into the present, you’ll land on
Dhanis.
If you look underneath peace you hear
a book.

Food for Difference by Bronwyn Watkins

At the centre of the eye is boredom.
At the edge of silver is a shimmering smile.
The swirl of loneliness sounds like a single heart-beat echoing;
the centre of the eye is blood red.

Toss sadness to the wind, and it will await your arrival.
Valley of Happiness: walk through and back down, devils beware!
Keep climbing to the top of tomorrow and find an old friend.
Toss sadness to the wind- it is a boomerang.

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For more great creativity and inspiration, I recommend this great little book:
Benke, Karen. Rip the Page!: Adventures in Creative Writing. Boston: Trumpeter, 2010. Print.