“First, I would disarm my opponent by sending in a herd of kittens. The distraction of abundant cuteness would allow me to slip into their city, filling their bread bowls with Nerds. After receiving my lovely gifts, the people would gladly lay down their weapons and surrender to me; their supreme ruler.”
Who says creative writing has to be serious? Who says it has to correspond to reality? Creative writing should be exactly that. Creative.
Creative writing has been a journey in our home. Af first, I would simply pick a topic out of thin air and have our children write a short essay. Needless to say, that didn’t work well. The kids were unmotivated by my choice of topics and, frankly, I had a hard time coming up with topics of interest.
This year, everything changed and we’re loving it!
What are we doing differently this year? We added creative writing as part of our history lesson! And, Mommy set a few guidelines. We each have a creative writing journal, mommy included. Instead of our writing assignments being open-ended, we are given five minutes to write; no more, no less.
By tying in our creative writing to our history lesson, mom no longer has to go searching for fun topics to explore; we are practically tripping over them. By mommy being involved, this becomes a fun, family activity (even a competition at times). By limiting our time, our children see this as a challenge and not a chore.
Here are some of the exciting assignments we’ve given:
- Pretend you are a Persian stained glass window, describe yourself.
- You are king of Upper Egypt, with plans to conquer your pesky neighbors to the North. Give me your battle plan.
- You’re a nomad child, experiencing her first bath in the Nile River. Tell me how this feels.
Creative writing usually takes place after our history reading and map work, but before activities and projects. Our routine calls for writing assignments at least once a week, but often we do more. (This stuff is downright fun!) There are no limits. We’ve had everything from flying unicorns, Nerds, and Jedi knights make an appearance.
I should also point out: These are exercises in creative writing, not grammar lessons. I do not check their work for punctuation, grammar, spelling, or anything else. Our creative writing sessions are to encourage imagination and a love of writing.
This year, creative writing has taken on a whole new face. Our children love these exercises and can’t wait to hear what fun topic they’ll be exploring next. And, you know what? I’m having fun, too.
But, let me warn you. Look out for those flying unicorns. They definitely cause a lot of trouble!
Time to Chime In: What part of your routine is dedicated to creative writing?