Welcome to Monday’s Muse! Every Monday morning of the school term in 2014, Write Away With Me will post a writing and/or storytelling activity that you can try with your class or your children at home.
When it comes to creative writing inspiration, some activities that are now part of my everyday repertoire, are things that I stumbled upon quite accidentally. Like combining drawing and writing. I know it’s not uncommon to partner these activities, especially in the younger years but usually we give writing the centre stage and drawing becomes a secondary character – necessary to keep the plot moving forward but not often in the spotlight. Children usually illustrate stories when the writing is drafted, edited and ready to publish. But I find that when I encourage children to sketch and daydream and draw first, the writing that follows is rich and original.This activity uses drawing as a springboard for a shared creative writing project.
Let’s Get Started!
1. Organise your class into groups of four and give every child a blank piece of A4 paper and a grey lead drawing pencil. Students should write their name on the top of their page.
2. Set a timer for 2 mins. Explain to your class that when the timer starts, they each must start a picture on their paper. When the timer goes off, everyone must stop what they are doing and hand their paper to the left.
3. Set the timer again, and the next child continues on with the picture.
4. Repeat this until every child has their original picture in front of them.
5. Allow time for each child to look at their pictures for inspiration. Ask these questions:
- What story can you see within the picture?
- Any clues that tell you where this picture might be? (Setting).
- Can you see any characters?
- What are they doing and why?
6. Allow time to chat to a partner about the story possibilities within the picture.
7. After the partner work has finished, provide the children with another piece of paper.Play some thinking music and give everyone the chance to jot down ideas, brainstorm and even create a working title for their story.
I love this activity because it totally eliminates the blank page and the anxiety that often comes with having to ‘come up with an idea’. This sort of writing is a real team effort!
After 25 years teaching experience, from Early Childhood to VCE, Beth Cregan combined her passion for books, writing and storytelling to launch ‘Write Away With Me’. Now in its fourth year, Write Away With Me offers a wide range of original and creative storytelling and writing workshops across Victoria. Our high energy workshops cover a wide range of writing styles/genres and a flexible approach, means we can tailor the experience to match the needs of your students and your school. Interested in booking a workshop for your class? Check out our range of storytelling and writing workshops today! Workshops for secondary classes and professional development are also available.