I often hear students protest, “But I’m not creative.” And moms look at me with a shoulder shrug and a mirror claim, “I’m not creative either.”
I don’t buy in.
We have been gifted with a creativity muscle. It’s just that it doesn’t work properly if it hasn’t been exercised.
As I design creative writing lessons, my goal is to provide you with engaging, hands-on activities–creative writing exercises to keep your students smiling, laughing, and moving that yellow pencil (or purple marker!) across the page.
The Importance of Creative Writing
Why should you care about creative writing? Because creative writers are creative thinkers.
Creative thinkers are resourceful problem-solvers. They aren’t afraid to try new things as their curiosity leads them to experiment. Creative thinkers gain emotional intelligence as they explore their own thoughts and feelings, the thoughts and feelings of others, and the big, big world around them.
Creative writing doesn’t have to be hard, scary, or dreadful. I promise. I’m here to help you deliver interesting, enjoyable lessons to your students.
Browse the lessons below to find the just-right creative writing activity for your students.
Creative Writing Lessons and Activities for Early Elementary
Character Sketch: My Pet Dragon
Even young students can write a character sketch with this guided writing activity. Students fill out the pet dragon form and then write a short sketch using the information on the form.
Christmas Story Writing Prompts
Flip, flap, and mix until you find a setting, characters, and conflict you want to use for your short story.
Circus Writing Prompt Cards
This set of writing prompt cards is great for kids who need help generating ideas. The prompts are questions. As the students answer the questions, they will have ample ideas for writing a circus themed story.
Creative Writing Activities for Kids
This group of activities from other bloggers will provide you with lots of new ideas for your students.
Creative Writing Dice Game
You can partner with your student for this fun dice game; it is the perfect remedy for students who balk at pushing their pencils.
Design a Circus Poster Creative Writing Activity
Another great activity for reluctant writers; the circus poster only includes a tiny bit of writing, but a great bit of creating thinking.
Dialogue Lesson Plan for Young Writers
Introduce the importance of dialogue with This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen. This lesson also includes a hands-on dice writing game that helps students write their own dialogue examples.
Dinosaur Creative Writing Prompts
This set of writing prompts will help your student write a paragraph or journal entry about dinosaurs.
Dinosaur Writing Prompt Cards
This set of writing prompt cards will motivate your student to write a dinosaur themed short story. The cards are structured in a way to help your student generate gobs of ideas for a short story.
Fairy Tale Writing Prompts
Inspire your student to write with fairy tale settings, objects, and characters.
Halloween Story Writing Prompts
Write spooky stories with this set of flip, mix, and match strips. Students are given various options for settings, characters, and conflicts.
Hot Air Balloon Writing Prompt Cards
If your student complains about not knowing what to write about, try this set of adventure themed writing prompt cards. You can easily guide your student through the writing process with these prompts.
Imaginary Animals Writing Activity
Even young students in kindergarten and first grade can enjoy a creative writing lesson. Your students will love creating crazy animals with playdough and using the writing form to compose simple paragraphs.
Listmaking Writing Prompts
Students may not be ready to write sentences or paragraphs, but you can entice them to make lists with these engaging prompts.
Mad Science: Adjectives Writing Lab
First, students will imagine wonderful and strange things hissing and fizzing in a mad scientist’s lab. Next, students will name and write a description for each item. Finally, students will use their descriptions to write paragraphs about the mad scientist’s lab.
Monster Creative Writing Prompt Cards
Boost your student’s imagination with these monster creative writing prompts. You can use these for paragraph writing or journal entries; some of the prompts might even lead to short stories.
Mystery Writing Prompts
Do you have a super sleuth? Let your detective try writing some mystery stories using these prompts.
Nurture Creative Thinking with Wordless Books
The precursor to creative writing is creative thinking. This activity, designed to build your student’s creative thinking skills, is based on Aaron Becker’s wordless books, Journey and Quest.
Pet Picture Writing Prompts
I love using pictures for prompts! Grab this set of free pet pictures and use some of the ideas in the post to get your students writing about pets.
Pirate Writing Prompts
It’s a pirate’s life with these fun prompts. Print and cut out the cards. Laminate and put them on a ring and let your student pick one and write.
Teach Parts of a Story with a Picture Book
Use Help! We Need a Title! by Herve Tullet to teach your student about author, title, characters, setting, conflict, and resolution.
Super Hero Writing Prompts
Save the day with these fun prompts for your students.
Thanksgiving Dice Writing Activity
Your students will laugh out loud as they create silly sentences about Thanksgiving.
Use a Picture Book Teach the Story Element of Conflict
The Pencil by Allan Ahlberg is a fantastic base for teaching how to add conflict and resolution to a short story. Use the lesson and game to teach it to your students.
Writing Activity for Sam and Dave Dig a Hole: Make a List
Use the book Sam and Dave Dig a Hole to inspire your student to create a fun (and funny!) list.
Write Backstories for Fairy Tale Characters
Have you ever wondered what Rapunzel was doing before she got trapped in that tower? Or what about Goldilocks? What was she doing before she invaded the Three Bears’ house? Explore all kinds of writing possibilities with this fun creative writing lesson.
You can also find an assortment of creative writing lessons and activities for elementary students in the Tip-Top Printables Shop.
Creative Writing Lessons and Activities for Upper Elementary
Pictures to Inspire Creative Writing
If you are looking for an easy way to boost interest in creative writing, try this simple activity.
Pourquoi Tales Writing Lesson
Why does the leopard have spots? How did the bear lose its tail? Let your students build their creative thinking skills while composing pourquoi tales with this lesson plan.
Creative Writing Lessons for a Homeschool Co-op
I taught this series of posts for a local homeschool co-op, but you can use them however you want.
Creative Writing Lesson One: Cliché and Metaphor
Students learn the importance of words with this lesson–including how to avoid clichés and what makes a great metaphor.
Creative Writing Lesson Two: Sensory Details
Students consider how a reader experiences the world through writing and how sensory details are a key part of that experience.
Creative Writing Lesson Three: Showing vs. Telling
Students learn how to recognize authors who utilize showing, and students will be able to articulate the difference between showing and telling.
Creative Writing Lesson Four: Capturing Images
Image is essential. Students learn why images are necessary and how to capture their own.
Creative Writing Lesson Five: Character and Conflict
Introduce character and conflict and why these story elements are vital for short story writers.
Creative Writing Lesson Six: Point of View
Students learn about point of view and then enjoy reading poems and using pictures to write descriptions from different points of view (and perspectives).
Creative Writing Lesson Seven: Fractured Fairy Tales
As we work to put together everything we’ve learned in the previous lessons, students begin composing their own fractured fairy tales.
Creative Writing Lesson Eight: Revision
After a mini-lesson about revision, students partner up for peer editing.
You can use this Writing Ideas Notebook to help your students record and explore dozens of writing ideas.