Creative writing

Neeraja Raghavan

During my interaction with the primary, elementary and secondary classes of my internship school, I found that children (majority of them) deemed themselves as unable to express their thoughts in writing. During the initial days, it came to them as a surprise when they were asked to write without having anything to ‘copy’ from. This is the reality of majority of our state-run and privately-run schools. Writing to them is nothing but ‘copying down’ whatever the teacher has to say.

Writing is one of the four basic skills learnt in the English language. But getting children to express themselves creatively has always been a challenging task for teachers. Are poets and writers born or are they made? Is it possible to teach children to write poetry or a story, especially when English is only a second language?
Since English has to be taught and learnt more consciously than the mother tongue, creative writing in this language needs to be nurtured from the very beginning. This article provides some practical methods to help students write creatively in English.

In a creative writing class, there is always a challenge, adventure, learning and enjoyment, in the journey. Besides, children find their own pace, there is no syllabus or time-bound restrictions, no immediate target or expectations to trouble their minds. The teacher has to remain flexible, ready to change plans as required, sensitive and accommodating.

Writing can be made fun and interesting by asking children to write on topics related to their daily lives or topics they can easily relate to.

Writing can be made fun and interesting by asking children to write on topics related to their daily lives or topics they can easily relate to. Children hesitate to express themselves in writing due to the lack of adequate vocabulary and expression.  Here are some suggested writing activities for children that prepare them for writing by beginning with brainstorming and discussion,  giving the right prompts, encouraging them to organize their thoughts, equipping them with   sufficient vocabulary  and expression, thus helping them to write better.

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