Reinterpreting a Novel
- Creative writing classes can parallel English literature classes. You can use a creative writing project to concurrently reinterpret a novel being studied. For example, what if a novel like "Pride and Prejudice" was written as a diary? What if the villain in a detective novel wrote a letter of confession instead of telling the cop why they did it? Another idea is to take a scene from a novel and ask students to write the same scene but from a different character's point of view.
Fiction and Narrative Nonfiction
- Narrative nonfiction is a nonfiction story is told in a literary or creative style. It is different from historical fiction, because the narrative nonfiction does not stray from known historical facts. Examples of narrative nonfiction include memoirs, biographies, personal essays and literary journalism. Have the students convert dry historical facts about an event into a more literary style. First, they must assemble the facts to establish an order of events. Then they must write the story in third-person narration. Dialogue can only be used if it has been quoted from eyewitnesses. You can also plan a class where the reverse happens. Ask the students to turn a work of fiction, a chapter, or short story into a piece of narrative nonfiction that deals only with facts.
- Test the students' creativity using different prompts. This is where the teacher provides an element of the story and asks the students to finish it. Ideas for prompts include giving students character profiles, objects or locations that must be featured in the story, the first sentence and/or the last sentence, or a general scenario. Another idea is to give the students a news article or an advertisement, and ask them to write a story using the information provided. Teachers can use one or a combination of these options.
Poetry and Haiku
- Introduce students to various forms of poetry including the sonnet, free form poetry, and haiku. With each poetic form introduce the format and several examples. Then, ask the students to write their own poems according to the rules of a particular style. At the end of the semester, ask the students to create their own poetic forms with custom rules.
- Students study plays as well as poetry and stories. Have the students divide into groups of three to five members. Task each group with writing, preparing and performing an original play lasting between 10 and 15 minutes. The teacher will need to set aside time to help teach students how to write a play script, to discuss some famous plays and examples, to brainstorm and to write the play. Time will also be needed to prepare and practice the play, then perform the play in front of the other students.