Lesson Plans

Innovative lessons/ideas for teaching creative writing, as well as samples of student writing resulting from the lesson. See complete submission guidelines here.

Learning to Love the Language

by Rhoda Samkoff At the beginning of my teaching career one of my fifth-graders complained, “I have ideas, but I can’t make them come out my pencil!”  While my definition of successful creative writing is “the manipulation of words that results in a unique product of self-expression,” the student’s statement is a reminder that producing…

Using Poetry to Reach Across Disciplines

by Jason DeHart While I would occasionally meet students in my middle school classroom who loved poetry, by and large my students were reluctant to embrace the genre. I dealt with this resistance in a variety of ways, including reaching into other disciplines to bring in vocabulary words for review and practice in poetic form….

Search Results as Lyrical Launchpads

by Cal LaFountain  Grades: High school and college Learning Goals  In this lesson, students will use Internet search results to generate random language for the basis of a poem, story, or essay. Students may use search engines on their devices, a classroom computer, or, if a more analog strategy is desired, any nearby books that…

Two Poetry Prompts to Inspire Immigrant Teens

Bridging Borders With Words: Writing With Immigrant and Refugee Students This article is part of a series in Teachers & Writers Magazine on working with immigrant and refugee writers. Related content includes One Day You Will Be One of the Happier: The Voices and Poetry of Teen Immigrants, Poems Without Borders: Writing to Bear Witness,…

Found Poetry & Accessibility

by Donnie Welch I love using found poetry in my workshops! If you’re unfamiliar with the form, here’s a definition from the Academy of American Poets: “Found poems take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems. The literary equivalent of a collage, found poetry is often made from newspaper articles,…

Defining the Self in College Application Essays

by Alice Pencavel Objectives for Students:  To connect observations of their external world with the nuances of their inner world. To garner a deepened understanding of how the senses inform good writing. To generate material students can use for college application essays. Guiding Questions:  Who are you in relation to your environment? What is “self”?…

Rewriting Memoir

by Alice Pencavel Lesson Objectives:  To examine all the choices put in to a single sentence. To activate thoughtful patience and apply it to the process of writing. To allow time to write. To practice discipline and focus. To find new ways to actively incorporate personal reflections into our work.  Guiding Questions:  Why did Maya…

Flash Nonfiction as an Introduction to Writing Modes

by Jason DeHart By far, one of the biggest challenges my middle school students faced when Common Core State Standards were introduced was a focus on writing in response to nonfiction text. This new look at composing required students to build texts based on stimulus materials, rather than writing narrative and emerging explanatory essays. I…

Analyzing and Writing a Script: A Streetcar Named Desire

by Alice Pencavel Alice Pencavel’s lesson plan uses close reading of A Streetcar Named Desire as a starting point for students to write their own dramatic scenes. If many students are already familiar with Streetcar, choose a different play to teach the same lesson. Grades: High School Lesson Objectives:  To introduce students to the fundamental…

Teachers & Writers Magazine

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