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Creative Writing ESL Lesson

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This PPT explains to ESL students what creative writing is and how it is different from technical writing. It also contains a creative writing prompt for use in the classroom.

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Creative Writing ESL Lesson

  1. 1. Creative Writing
  2. 2. What is it? Creative writing is writing that is different from the usual forms: ⋄Technical writing ⋄Academic writing ⋄Professional (ie business) writing ⋄Journalism It is often defined by narrative or character.
  3. 3. Purpose Creative writing requires creativity! It is a method of expression: ⋄Ideas ⋄Thoughts ⋄Emotions Other forms of writing seek to inform; however, creative writing may aim to entertain people.
  4. 4. Examples Creative writing can include: » Fiction (short stories or novels) » Poetry » Creative non-fiction There are other examples, but the key is to be… creative!
  5. 5. What’s Creative? This sort of writing is often: ⋄ Inventive ⋄ Playful ⋄ Exciting ⋄ Inspiring ⋄ Unusual It might be designed to make you think deeply, or to be understood easily.
  6. 6. What’s Creative? Look at these two examples: 1. She stood on the stage and waited. 2. Nervously, she stood in front of the vast audience, sweat trickling down her neck, heart pumping, desperately trying to calm herself enough to stop her hands from shaking. Notice the use of small and non-obvious details to paint a mental picture.
  7. 7. Example - poem The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore— While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. “’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door— Only this and nothing more.” Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore— For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore— Nameless here for evermore.
  8. 8. Example - poem In Memory of W. B. Yeats, by W.H. Auden He disappeared in the dead of winter: The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted, And snow disfigured the public statues; The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day. What instruments we have agree The day of his death was a dark cold day.
  9. 9. Example - novel The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced--or seemed to face--the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.
  10. 10. Why Study It? Although most writing is technical, creative writing is more fun to do. It also shares many similarities with technical writing. The following are important for both: ⋄ Grammar ⋄ Punctuation ⋄ Spelling ⋄ Structure Creative writing can be a more interesting way to practice your writing skills.
  11. 11. How? A good way to practice creative writing is to begin by reading. However, the best way is to actually do it yourself. If you have an idea, just write. Otherwise, you can find prompts and challenges online or in books.
  12. 12. Practice Get a piece of paper and get ready to be creative.
  13. 13. 1. Draw a face in the top right corner of your paper 2. Give this person a name. 3. In the top left corner, write 5 adjectives to describe his/her appearance. 4. Now write 5 adjectives to describe their personality. 5. Write 3 things that they like to do. 6. Write who they live with.
  14. 14. It was a dark and stormy night and _____ was…. Your character's name 1. Begin your story like this: 2. Then write one more sentence to continue the story. 3. You should now have 2 sentences introducing your story.
  15. 15. 1. Next, pass your paper to the person on your right. 2. Read your new paper. Pay attention to the adjectives and details above. 3. Read carefully through the story as it builds up. Now add one more sentence to it. 4. Then pass it on again to the person on your right. Continue this again and again until the story has come to a natural end.
  16. 16. Get more ESL writing resources at my teaching blog. Or if you’re studying IELTS, check out my IELTS study website.

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