Creative Writing Lessons For 5th Grade

Creative Writing Lessons For 5th Grade-12
The most helpful parts for them to observe were the early drafting stage, where I just scratched out whatever came to me in messy, run-on sentences, and the revision stage, where I crossed things out, rearranged, and made tons of notes on my writing.

The most helpful parts for them to observe were the early drafting stage, where I just scratched out whatever came to me in messy, run-on sentences, and the revision stage, where I crossed things out, rearranged, and made tons of notes on my writing.I have seen over and over again how witnessing that process can really help to unlock a student’s understanding of how writing actually gets made. So the first step in getting good narrative writing from students is to help them see that .“Those who tell the stories rule the world.” This proverb, attributed to the Hopi Indians, is one I wish I’d known a long time ago, because I would have used it when teaching my students the craft of storytelling.

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Now give them specific instructions for what they are going to do.

Share your assignment rubric so they understand the criteria that will be used to evaluate them; it should be ready and transparent right from the beginning of the unit.

Once students have seen this story mapped out, have them try it with another one, like a story you’ve read in class, a whole novel, or another short video.

Up to this point, students have been immersed in storytelling.

In the “real” world of writers, though, the main thing that separates memoir from fiction is labeling: A writer might base a novel heavily on personal experiences, but write it all in third person and change the names of characters to protect the identities of people in real life.

Another writer might create a short story in first person that reads like a personal narrative, but is entirely fictional.Then there are unique books like Curtis Sittenfeld’s brilliant novel American Wife, based heavily on the early life of Laura Bush but written in first person, with fictional names and settings, and labeled as a work of fiction.The line between fact and fiction has always been really, really blurry, but the common thread running through all of it is good storytelling.But when we study storytelling with our students, we forget all that. When my students asked why we read novels and stories, and why we wrote personal narratives and fiction, my defense was pretty lame: I probably said something about the importance of having a shared body of knowledge, or about the enjoyment of losing yourself in a book, or about the benefits of having writing skills in general. I didn’t bother to tell them that the ability to tell a captivating story is one of the things that makes human beings extraordinary. If we can pass that on to our students, then we will be going beyond a school assignment; we will be doing something transcendent. I used this process with middle school students, but it would work with most age groups.When teaching narrative writing, many teachers separate personal narratives from short stories.In my own classroom, I tended to avoid having my students write short stories because personal narratives were more accessible.I could usually get students to write about something that really happened, while it was more challenging to get them to make something up from scratch.By telling their own short anecdotes, they will grow more comfortable and confident in their storytelling abilities.They will also be generating a list of topic ideas.Before I get into these steps, I should note that there is no one right way to teach narrative writing, and plenty of accomplished teachers are doing it differently and getting great results. But when they actually have to put words on paper, they forget their storytelling abilities: They can’t think of a topic. They gather at lockers to talk about that thing that happened over the weekend.This just happens to be a process that has worked for me. They omit relevant details, but go on and on about irrelevant ones. They sit at lunch and describe an argument they had with a sibling.

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