Archive | May 2014

Work Hard, Keep the Faith, Keep the Energy and Enjoy What Your Are Doing- Keys to Creativity in the Classroom

In a recent Jerusalem Post article, Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013, the interviewer, Gil Karpas, spoke with the lyricist and singer, Shaanan Streett, of Hadag Nahash Band. When asked, what is the secret to their creative sustainability, Shaanan answered, “I know it may seem like a cliché, but the main secret is just to work hard. Keep the faith, keep the energy and enjoy what you are doing and then it is just fun to do it again and again. Keep yourself intrigued, do not repeat what you’ve done before, keep yourself interested and try to develop the communication you have with the audience”.  In our case, as educators, the audience is our students.

What simple yet extraordinary advice to all of us who desire to keep the creativity alive in our classrooms as we encourage our students to master English as a foreign language.  One of the ideas that I would like to propose to you is to foster creative writing through the use of “writing prompts”.   For example, last week I gave this “story starter” to my students-

“One stretch, two stretches, breathe in, breathe out, and…..”

One student took us through the “birthing process” along with moans, groans and pushing!

One student took us through the “death” process”, the last breath of her grandmother.

One student took us through the laborious process of a child blowing up her first balloon.

I was taken aback by the spur of the moment creativity of my students as well as the fun we all had during the last half hour of our lesson.

Below are some other ideas for “writing prompts” or “story starters”.  Use these or think of your own. Try them with your students and see the creativity blossom in your classroom!

  1. I tried to stop him but it was just too late….
  2. My heart beat faster and faster as the steps came closer and closer…
  3. The drums beat louder and louder and then they suddenly stopped…
  4. The young explorer, covered in soggy jeans and  flannel shirt, burst into the room, slapped his well-read traveler’s guide on the desk and started to speak about his latest discovery to anyone who would listen.
  5. He looked into her sad brown eyes and thought, “There must be something I can do to make things better”.
  6. “I can’t stand the cold,” Cath said. “When will this ice age end”!
  7. The time had finally come for her to make a decision. What would it be… yeah or nay?
  8. “You know that we can’t possibly cross that line”, Sam exclaimed. “We have no other choice”, Sheila responded.
  9. I followed her past the beautiful flowers into the cemetery. She stopped at a headstone which read…..
  10. I had never seen anything like it in my life!
  11. It is almost impossible but…
  12. I walked off of the plane into a new and different land. I was both nervous and excited. This was going to be some adventure!
  13. He went charging out of the stables, fire in his eyes and I knew then….
  14. How much longer? I think I might go crazy if….