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.

Exploring Disability Justice through Writing

By Jennifer Bartlett In this lesson from T&W teaching artist Jennifer Bartlett, participants unpack their perceptions of disability, explore the origin of those perceptions, analyze a poem written by a disabled poet, explore explicit and implicit biases within a dialogical framework, and write a poem exploring an aspect of their own identity. Grade/Population: High school or adults…

Visualizing Revision

By Erika Luckert In the following lesson plan T&W teaching artist Erika Luckert explores what Charles Darwin and Pablo Picasso can teach students about the revision process. She offers her thanks to Lucie Brock-Broido, who first introduced her to Picasso’s bull lithographs as a metaphor for revision. Grade: 11 Genre: All Download: Visualizing Revision Common…

Exploring Unconventional Form

By Olaya Barr In this lesson from T&W teaching artist Olaya Barr, students learn how an unconventional form can serve as a creative constraint for a story. Barr taught this lesson at PS 122, the Mamie Fay School, in Queens, alongside T&W education associate and New York University graduate student India Gonzalez. This exercise challenges…

Tone and Attitude in Poetry

By Jane LeCroy In this lesson, T&W teaching artist Jane LeCroy explores tone and self-expression with students. Using the poetry of Walt Whitman, John Berryman, and Yusef Komunyakaa as models, students explore their own attitude about life, and then use what they have learned as a starting point to write their own poems. Genre: Poetry Grade:…

The Walk Poem

by Ron Padgett Guess what. The walk poem involves a walk. The interesting thing is that there are so many ways for the walk to be a part of the poem, and the poem to be a part of the walk. Writing poems about a walk has a long history, going back at least as…

The College Application Essay as a Descriptive Narrative

By Amina Henry  In this essay-writing lesson, T&W writer Amina Henry helps students generate ideas and practice writing the college application essay.  Grade: 11th–12th  Genre: Personal Essay Download: The College Application Essay as a Descriptive Narrative Common Core State Standards (Refer to the ELA Standards > Writing > Grade 11–12): ELA-LITERACY.W.11–12.2.D: Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary,…

The Art of Observation

By Alice Pencavel  In T&W teaching artist Alice Pencavel’s lesson plan, students explore the art of observation, integrate their observations into their writing, and deepen their appreciation for craft through examining word choice. Grade: 4th  Genre(s): Poetry Download: The Art of Observation Common Core Learning Standard (Refer to the ELA Standards > Writing > Grade…

Welcome to Personification!

By Joanna Fuhrman In this lesson, T&W teaching artist Joanna Fuhrman teaches students about creating poetry that imagines emotions as characters with human traits.  Genre(s) taught: Poetry  Grade(s) taught: 3rd  Download: Welcome to Personification!  Common Core State Standards (Refer to the ELA Standards > Reading: Literature > Grade 3): CCSS ELA-Literacy.RL.3.4: Determine the meaning of words…

Rants: Not Just for Complaining!

by Erika Luckert  In Erika Luckert’s lesson plan, students explore “ranting” as a practice for relieving emotional angst and building an argument. Grade: 7th Genre(s): Poetry and prose Download: Rants: Not Just for Complaining!   Common Core State Standards (Refer to the ELA Standards > Writing > Grade 7):  ELA-LITERACY.W.7.3.A: Engage and orient the reader by establishing a…

Figurative Writing: A Lesson on Alliteration

By Laura Campbell-Lui Laura Campbell-Lui teaches for the New York City Department of Education, teaching students who have been identified to receive remedial support. In this lesson plan, she introduces fifth-graders to alliteration. This lesson plan is designed for struggling students, but it can be adapted and made more complex. For example, it might be…

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