One of the great pleasures – and challenges – of teaching English is helping students to develop their own 'voice' and style as writers of short stories.
Assessing their creative, imaginative, descriptive and narrative writing skills at GCSE is a different matter, and can prove to be less rewarding for students, as writing on demand can test even the most confident of writers.
The rich collection of creative writing resources on Teachit, generously shared by our fantastic English teacher contributors, are a testament to the creativity, resourcefulness and ingenuity of English teachers as we seek to tease out the best in students' writing.
Here is a selection of popular resources for writing classes and lessons, as well as some of our newly published creative and narrative writing resources:
Planning and structuring writing
Story building grids is a flexible writing prompt resource to help students with the first steps of planning the writing process, with suggestions for different literary devices to include (metaphors, similes, alliteration, personification, dialogue, point of view etc.).
Another writing prompt resource, Beth Kemp's Imaginative writing: creating a scene, carefully walks them through the whole planning and writing process. Like a screenplay writer, students learn how to zoom in on key scenes to create pace, tension and atmosphere, while considering point of view and their main characters' traits. This resource also focuses on the importance of re-writing and editing their piece of writing.
Fran Nantongwe's delightful and hugely popular The quest for a cure is perfect for younger students and will take your class through a range of different genres and written forms over several English lessons, and also includes some non-fiction tasks.
Ditch the adjective is a great new resource by contributor Sally-Ann Griffin, which include a range of writing tips to guide students through the process of making better word choices and focuses on the importance of re-writing.
English teacher Helen Down's Turning pictures into word banks helps students to select really engaging words to use. Writing pyramids is a flexible resource for students to refer to again and again to support their writing experiments.
For inspiration for creative writing activities, try Super story starters or Engage your sleeping author! which offers students a range of examples of creative writing and opening sentences which help them to explore different forms (diary, epistolary, historical).
With imaginative writing, it's important to inspire students. Stephen Mitchell's Exploring beginnings and Attention-grabbing story starters both encourage students to consider the effect of different story openings. For a series of lessons, try the thoughtful Memory-inspired creative writing.
And if you are looking for more imaginative writing, creative writing or narrative writing resources, try our Writing fiction or Writing techniques collection for hundreds of classroom resources for English students and teachers on the following:
- how to create characters and explore character development
- how to experiment with narrative style, such as using the first person or exploring different points of view
- how to explore different genres, settings or plots, and different types of creative writing
- how to use literary devices and techniques.
For non-fiction and creative non-fiction writing, try our Writing non-fiction texts collection.
This article was first published as an Editor's pick newsletter in January 2022.