Looking to inspire creative writing students? Read on for reading material and lesson plan ideas.
Students enjoy outside sources – they view them as inside secrets or adult-like. Perhaps they are more authentic than readings in textbooks.
I’m a tad obsessed with finding writing tips on Pinterest and StumbleUpon for myself. As I sort through top ten lists and articles, I began thinking that many would work with older students, maybe in a creative writing class. Here are writing resources from famous authors that you could use in a writing lesson plan.
1. George Orwell. Awww, Eric. He provides a list of questions that students could perhaps run through if they are attempting a change in their writing style. His process is at the very least, interesting.
2. John Steinbeck. Prepare never to finish? Yikes. He has a point, though. Rarely does an author believe a piece of writing is perfect. Acknowledging that may make students more confident.
(This website also has numerous other writers in a series. Perhaps students could choose other authors if Steinbeck isn’t for them).
3. I cannot find a piece of writing about writing by J. K. Rowling. People have gathered her quotes and random tips from interviews, but I can’t find a list that she directly provides. Still, I wanted to include her. Here is a shorter list of her compiled ideas.
4. Stephen King has a few naughty words in this piece, so you may want to warn students or print the piece out and black them out. He’s prolific and has time-allocating tips, which students so often need.
5. This article on Miss Literati is not about famous authors’ ideas, but the tips are applicable to high school students. The rest of her blog contains other ideas and they seem clean if students want to search through a bit.
Incorporating these into a writing lesson plan? I would do a jigsaw activity. Divide students into groups, assign each group an article, and have them present their findings to the class. Discuss which tips students would like to attempt and which ones do not seem applicable. Perhaps set individual goals or stretch past their comfort zones.
Another writing lesson plan idea? Often in writing classes, students complain when I assign them reading. (They’re goofy like that). Since many of these authors explain that reading improves one’s writing, reviewing these tips would make for a nice introduction to a larger reading assignment.
These would also work for a substitute lesson plan. Instead of group work (subs may not feel comfortable), ask students to pick one of the above articles and write a brief summary and ideas to implement in their own writing. Have them present their findings when you return.
The best part of these articles to inspire creative writing students? These weren’t written specifically for high school students. Students appreciate that – reading adult material.
How would you incorporate these articles into your writing lesson plans? Could you use these as bell ringers with your creative writing students?