ESL Creative Writing Lesson Plan

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Activities in this lesson plan will help you introduce creative writing to your English Language Learners through the RAFT organizer to help them identify roles, audience, formats and topics for creative writing projects.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will:

  • Define creative writing and differentiate from academic writing.
  • Suggest examples of roles, audience, format and topics for creative writing.
  • Write creatively.
  • Discuss writing with classmates.


90-120 minutes

Curriculum Standards

ELP 6-8.2

ELLs will participate in grade-appropriate oral and written exchanges of information, ideas, and analyses, responding to peer, audience, or reader comments and questions.

ELP 6-8.7

ELLS will adapt language choices to purpose, task, and audience when speaking and writing.

ELP 6-8.9

ELLS will create clear and coherent grade-appropriate speech and text

Materials Needed

  • Slips of paper
  • Pens or pencils
  • Writing paper
  • Whiteboard or blackboard
  • Four small paper lunch bags


  • Author
  • Blog
  • Creative writing
  • Novel
  • Play
  • Poetry
  • Short Story
  • Writing notebook


  • To introduce the lesson, ask the students why we write. Make sure that they realize you are not talking about handwriting. What are some things that we write and why do you we do it?
  • If they don't mention any creative writing formats, ask them about writing poetry, blogs, novels, plays, or short stories. Why do we write these?
  • Introduce the phrase 'creative writing,' as writing that someone does for enjoyment or for pleasure; they may want to share a story or feelings about a topic with other people. Ask if any of the students write for enjoyment.
  • If you write for enjoyment, share some of your writing with the class as a model.
  • If any of the students write for enjoyment, ask them what they write about and what formats they use for their writing.
  • Ask the students if any of them struggle when they try to write creatively. Discuss reasons for this.
  • Usually, the biggest problem for students is coming up with a topic. Ask if this is an issue for your class. If it is, focus on ideas for topics for their writing.
  • List these suggestions on the board:
    • Think of people and places that are familiar to you but that others might like to hear about.
    • Think of topics you are passionate about, and share your passion.
    • Look through a photo album or at photos online, and write about a photo you see.
    • Think of something amusing that has happened to you, and write about that.
    • Write about what it is like to be in a new country.
    • Think of a bit of conversation or scene you saw in a store, and use that to start a story.
  • Ask if the students have any other ideas that they use to come up with topics for their creative writing.

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