Story Writing

 

 

Story Writing Template

Students often have problems thinking of ideas to write about. There are several different methods to solve this problem without inhibiting creativity.

It is up to the teacher to decide what it is that they are trying to achieve with their creative writing and then select a method of developing creative ideas that suits the makeup of their class.

The following ideas have proved

very teaching styles, students learning styles and brain dominances successful but as with everything there are many ways of achieving a goal so it is up to the teachers to select the ideas that suit their own teaching styles, students learning styles and the different brain dominances involved.

Creativity

  • Place an obscure word into a Google images search. Pick 10 random images to start creating a story.
  • Get a collage of cartoon images and tell students to select 5 (depends on the amount of work you want the student to do) different images and structure their story around the images.
  • EFL ESL students can be taken outside to discuss, touch and smell trees (example) and the language to describe the trees and flowers. Then discuss clothing (example) and the words to describe clothes such as materials texture colours fashion and maybe pick a third item such as buildings (example) and discuss words to describe roofs, walls, bricks, etc. Write any new words on the board and allocate time to create a story using the 3 different items they have discussed. This proved very successful with M2 (G8) students in an EFL class.
  • Students write the first sentence on a sheet of paper and everyone hands the sentence on to the next student. Each student (maybe 6) continues the ideas and story outline on each story. The story goes back to the original writer and this is what they use as an outline for their story.

Keep in mind that for a teacher to tell the student what is required caters very heavily to auditory learning styles. To this end this template was created to assist all the visual learners to put together a story outline

What is too much planning?

The templates here could be used with another one for character development but there is a point when there is too much planning and it stifles creativity by involving the students too heavily in processes.

The greater the emphasis on planning the harder it is for students to change or adapt their story to new ideas although planning is important and sometimes critical depending on the teachers requirements.

Templates.

The template below proved very successful for grade 7 and 8 (M1 and M2). The complexity of the template can be adapted to suit how much work is required of the student. For example where there is Ch for chapter it could be Page or it could be Paragraphs.

Most of the writing templates I have seen have been too complex and force the student into long periods of time with planning being the ultimate goal rather than writing and creating. Certainly when there is a limited amount of time to achieve a goal, getting started quickly is very important.

An example of using the template.

The quickest way to destroy a students enthusiasm for learning and creativity is to be over critical and force them into tedious hours of planning. Often a critical teacher wants their own story written not the students story and this becomes obvious to the students far quicker than they learn to write.

With EFL students I find the quicker they are on task and using the language they have learnt creatively the faster they appear to learn and retain new language.

With more complex stories and older students a character map can be used to develop the story more fully.

The template is not meant to be a pretty piece of work it is meant to contain ideas that are important to the student. For some students it will be pretty and others it will be messy but providing the ideas develop quickly ideas that are important to the studentit is up to the teacher’s preferences as to the focus on creativity or neatness. The teacher has to ask themselves if they want creative writing or neat art work. Forcing one can often be at the expense of the other so the suggestion is to find the middle way.

 An example with sketches for a visual student

This second example is to show visual students it is ok to sketch as well. Certainly a student with a Hermann's yellow brain dominance will tend to see and remember better in pictures or combinations of icons words and images.

Additional information