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Creative Writing Unit Plan for Middle School

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

Creative writing may not be as familiar to middle school students as literary analysis or essay writing. In this unit, students will engage in group writing, journaling, and writer's workshop to become confident and creative writers.

Creative Writing

Teaching creative writing can be an exciting whirlwind experience for both you and your students. In the middle school world, non-fiction is the primary focus of classroom writing. Therefore, a creative writing unit can provide a breath of fresh air. This unit guides students through a step-by-step sequence from applying the writing process to journaling and engaging in a writer's workshop. By the end, they'll be ready to flex their creative writing muscles in their own original piece of creative writing.

Overview

Start by introducing or reviewing the various writing styles to give students a context for understanding creative writing as a genre. Use this Writing Style Lesson Plan for a quick overview. Introduce or review the writing process, as well, with this Writing Process Lesson Plan which guides students through writing a story.

Next, frame student thinking by engaging them in a discussion of what creative writing entails. Use this Creative Writing Lesson Plan to introduce the concept and get them started on their writing journey.

Accommodate students who have difficulty with language by using this ESL Creative Writing Lesson Plan. This lesson plan is not only for students whose native language is not English. It can also be used to differentiate for students who have difficulty putting their thoughts onto paper.

Lastly, use this Narrative Writing Lesson Plan to get students familiar with the narrative nature of creative writing. This will serve as a foundation for understanding other types of creative writing throughout the unit.

Types of Creative Writing

Once students have a grasp on writing styles, the writing process, and creative writing as an art, expose them to a couple of different types of creative writing. Starting with what they know is essential. For example, using this Literary Nonfiction Lesson Plan is helpful because it asks students to base their creative writing in their own personal reality.

When beginning with a real-life frame of reference, it's easier for students to branch out into more creative exercises. This Memoir Lesson Plan does just that. Students are asked to pull from their own lives as inspiration for creative writing. Add in this Six Word Memoir Lesson Plan for a quick, simple application of their knowledge.

Writing Warm-ups

Building on their lessons above, help students exercise their writing muscles by providing them with Creative Writing Warm-Ups & Exercises. Build from quick warm-ups to more in-depth exercises with these Creative Writing Exercises for Beginners to get them excited about writing.

A unique method for inspiring students to enjoy writing is to work together in creating a piece of writing. Use these Round Robin Writing Exercises & Prompts to show students that writing can be a team effort. This is a great way to build up to independent writing activities. Not only is it fun, it's also less intimidating than staring at a blank page, knowing you're the only one responsible for filling it. Stretch student collaborative writing skills by adding in some of these activities, as well:

Journaling

Once students have warmed up their writing muscles, teach them about journal writing. This can be an excellent tool to provide them with a safe space to take risks. Try out this Journal Writing Lesson Plan for Middle School for a great introduction to journaling.

Keep students writing with these additional Creative Writing Journal Prompts. If journaling becomes a daily practice throughout the duration of the unit, students will be more comfortable branching out and exploring new possibilities. They will be able to identify their likes and their strengths in creative writing.

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