Creative Writing: Lessons and Prompts

A little about me and my qualifications: I have a master’s degree in creative writing, and taught creative writing at the High School level for several years, as well as being a founding co-editor to our school’s literary journal.

I’ve been working on making my materials accessible for anyone to use, and thought, why not pop it up on here? Enjoy! All materials have been made by me and are free to use/adapt for teaching or personal use (cannot use for monetary gain). Please give credit to carolaniday.com

It is a rather long page with all of the lessons, but feel free to scroll down and find what works best for you. The three main sections are “Starters” for writing inspiration, “Lessons” for creative writing, and “Holidays and Just For Fun” one-off activities with a theme.

If you would like to give back for any materials used, I would love it if you asked your school and/or local library to purchase a copy of The Dragon Kin, or for your personal library šŸ™‚

CLICK ON PREFERRED FORMAT LISTED UNDER THE HEADER TO DOWNLOAD THE FILE.

Here’s a sample syllabus you can use for creating your own syllabus.

SAMPLE CREATIVE WRITING SYLLABUS: ……. DOCX format …….. PDF format


Starters: to be used as inspiration

I always began my classes with 10 minute “starters” where students came in and knew to immediately work on the prompt (it would be on the board no matter its format). They could write about literally anything they wanted to, and they don’t necessarily have to write about the starter I provided as long as they were writing during the time, they got credit for doing it.

I provide insight and tips in the Day 1 – Lesson Plan to introduce students to a starter freewrite and the unique perspectives they could create. I usually did this on day 2 of the class (day 1 being dedicated to giving the syllabus and playing some writing games).

All starters here are appropriate to High School level, and I was in a very conservative state, so I took that into consideration when building my starter list, however, use at your own discretion, especially when links are provided. Some links (especially to sites of images) may have some that are not appropriate for use. Always preview material and pre-select before putting anything up as a starter for students.

I taught an A/B school schedule and set up the following: Mon/Tues were written prompts (sentence starters or descriptions), Wed/Thurs were images, and the every other Friday class would be YouTube song or video.

Day 1 – Lesson Plan
DOCX format
PDF format

Sentence Starters
DOCX format
PDF format

YouTube: songs and videos
DOCX format
PDF format

MASTER LIST of all
DOCX format
PDF format

Lessons

These are the core lessons I taught on creative writing. I’m in process of converting all my materials to put up here. It takes more time then I expected and I’ll update as I can. I hope to have a full semester’s worth of material available by the end of 2021.

For me, a typical unit is 2-3 days (which is about a week of instruction with the A/B schedule). Day 1 starts with direct instruction, and many have a practice activity going over the instruction (possibly running onto day 2, where they are given the prompt for the next day’s writing assessment. Day 2/3 is a mini-writing assessment of 250-500 words which illustrates the learned technique.

Every few units there’s a summative activity on the previous units just covered. Then at the end of each semester is a full short story of at least 1000 words with planning, writing, and revising.

Lessons are numbered according to their unit. 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 etc. are all unit 1 in progressive order of how they should be used in class (such as start with 1.1, then do 1.2, etc. ). If there’s multiple same numbers, they go together (such as 1.1 slides goes together with 1.1 worksheet). Exercises are the mini-assessment and always end each unit.

CW 1.1 – What makes a story?
PPTX format (slides)
PDF format

CW 1.1 – Worksheet
DOCX format
PDF format

CW 1.2 – Activity
DOCX format
PDF format

CW 1.3 – Practice
DOCX format
PDF format

CW 1.4 – Exercise
DOCX format
PDF format

CW 2.1 – Direct Action
DOCX format
PDF format

CW 2.2 – Activity
DOCX format
PDF format

CW 2.3 – Exercise
DOCX format
PDF format


CW 3.1 – Dialogue
PPTX Format (slides)
PDF format

CW 3.1 – Dialogue Worksheet (coming soon)
DOCX coming soon
PDF coming soon

CW 3.2 – Dialogue Tags – Day Outline
DOCX Format
PDF format

CW 3.2 – How to Use Dialogue Tags Like a Pro – Article
DOCX Format
PDF format

CW 3.2 – How to Use Dialogue Tags Like a Pro – Worksheet
DOCX Format
PDF format

CW 3. – Dialogue Tags Practice
DOCX Format
PDF format

CW 3. More Dialogue Activities coming soon

CW 3. More Dialogue Activities coming soon

CW 3. Dialogue Exercise coming soon

CW 3. Dialogue Extra Credit coming soon

Holidays and Just For Fun

These are holiday themed activities or fun short activities. I often used them to fill the days students couldn’t focus or were distracted (like coming up to a holiday, or half days). Some I put out as extra credit opportunities at the end of the term if students wanted a tiny bit of boost to their grade before finalizing.

Extra credit – lists
DOCX format
PDF format

Hilarious Metaphors
DOCX format
PDF format

Oxymoron Activity
DOCX format
PDF format

Stressing Words Activity
DOCX format
PDF format

Perspective is Everything
DOCX format
PDF format

Pretty Ugly Poem
DOCX format
PDF format

Halloween Prompts
DOCX format
PDF format

Thanksgiving Prompts
DOCX format
PDF format

Christmas/Holiday Prompts
DOCX format
PDF format


If you would like to give back for any lessons or materials you have used, I would love it if you asked your school and/or local library to purchase a copy of The Dragon Kin, or for your personal library šŸ˜‰

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