Creative writing for teens

Creative Writing Activity edit

Sometimes it's difficult to get students started with writing. Here's a fun activity that can reinforce the elements of fiction and give students a chance to brainstorm using each other as resources:


  • First, place students in circular groups. Groups of 4-6 work well.
  • Explain to the students that they will each start a story and that they will have a specific amount of time to complete each step before passing their paper to the right or to the left (that part doesn't matter, as long as everyone passes the same way).
  • Time each step carefully. For beginners, a minute to a minute and a half is sufficient for step 1. Add about ten seconds to each subsequent step to give them time to read. Don't tell the students you are adding the time, as they will never notice because they will be too busy working!
  • Depending on your audience, you may want to set some ground rules about what topics are off-limits. Topics that are typically off limits are illegal activities, drugs and weapons, profanity, and sexual references.
  • Write the steps on the board or project them using an overhead, LCD projector or Smartboard. The steps are as follows:
  1. Describe a setting (time and place)
  2. Introduce a protagonist (if your students are younger, you may want to use the term "main character")
  3. Introduce a second character/antagonist
  4. Describe a conflict
  5. Bring the conflict to its climax
  6. Resolve the conflict
  • Make sure you explain that students may ONLY work on ONE step at a time. If they jump ahead and introduce the conflict while they are describing the antagonist, the next person who gets the paper won't know what to do.
  • Once the activity is complete, have each group share the best story and explain which member came up with which element(s).
  • As an extension activity, you can have each student revise their original paper and turn in the final copy.

This is a fun activity that takes little prep time and students usually really enjoy it, even at the college level. I did this in my teaching methods class when I was a senior in college, and we all had a lot of fun with our crazy stories!

--Lessouth 14:06, 3 March 2010 (UTC)