The Best Ways to Teach 'Creative Writing' in Form Three

The Best Ways to Teach 'Creative Writing' in Form Three

Welcome to UNIT 13.3

PREVIOUSLY: In Unit 13.2, we discussed how to study and teach the sub topic “Describing things” in Form Two.                                                            

IN THIS UNIT 13.3, we will discuss how to study and teach the sub topic “Creative writing” in Form Three.

(Also: For Literature in English Subject, Check out my Literature in English Blog. Also check out My Diary for Diary Writing Inspiration and More! )

Sub Topic: Creative Writing.
Periods per sub topic: 14.
Class: Form Three.

Writing creatively is to write using literary techniques. Most of these techniques are covered in the topic Theory of Literature: An Introduction to Literature that is taught in English Language subject and in Literature in English subject. In this sub topic, students will be introduced to the art of composing or writing short stories, poems and short plays. They will now apply the techniques they learnt in the Theory of Literature.

The student should be able to write a literary work using literary devices and skills. They will be able to use literary techniques, devices, and skills they learnt in 'Theory of Literature' to create literary works of their own.

This stage is about the preparation of the teacher before undertaking the lessons of the particular sub topic. These are all activities, procedures, materials, teaching aids, and games prepared by the teacher for teaching a sub topic:

  1. Putting heads together: Introducing the topic/lesson properly. Organising how students will be able to get to know what is the topic/lesson about. It is where teacher makes sure that students are going to be in his/her train. It includes brainstorming and familiarisation of the topic/lesson with the students.
This makes students stay together with the teacher. It is at this stage students can understand what is going to be discussed in the particular topic.

In this sub topic/lesson: Students will be introduced to the various ways of writing various literary works. Hence, it is a good idea to introduce them to various relevant concepts of Theory of Literature and others.

  1. Preparation of Materials. A teacher has to decide on the teaching/learning materials he/she is going to use.

In this sub topic/lesson: In this sub topic/lesson, teacher will have to use some real objects, pictures, films, recorded tapes, dictionaries, sample stories/texts, and poems. These materials are helpful in creative writing.

  1. Target Practice. At this point, teacher shows/guides students how to the practice of the functions of the sub topic. A teacher has to show or guide students to the target practice of the grammatical functions of the sub topic.

In this sub topic/lesson: The teacher brainstorms with the students by discussing the contexts in which students can write their creative works. The teacher should help students to think about the settings of the School, village, street, and towns as well as thinking creatively about the genres of writing such as: adventure, biography, comedy, tragedy, comic, love, fiction, nonfiction, free verse poems, and memories.

  1. Context-Based Practice. In this context, the teacher has to explore and guide students to write creatively in various aspects like things and people at the School, in the street, or at home. These settings or contexts are real experiences for students. A teacher is not advised to ask students to write about the things that are not familiar to them. They should start with what they know.

In this sub topic/lesson; the following settings, situations and genres like Adventure, biography, tragedy, comic, love, fiction, nonfiction, free verse, and stanza can be applied by the teacher. These genres will help the students to understand the sub topic/lesson. They experience what is to be done by practice and within the real environments and appropriate genres.

  1. Vocabulary Building Practice. At this time, teacher discusses with the students on the vocabularies and phrases to apply in the already mentioned contexts and situations.

In this sub topic/lesson: The teacher can discuss various vocabularies with the students. Some of them are short stories, notebooks, diaries, adventure, detective, fiction, and the like. These vocabularies are mostly about the important terms on creative writing.


Guide the students to the full sub topic/lesson procedures, activities and games for the better understanding of the sub topic by following these activities:

Activity One: Brainstorming on the concept of 'Creative Writing' and Kinds of Literary Works to write on. Creative writing is the writing that focuses on expressing thoughts, feelings, and emotions rather than to simply convey information. Creative writing is based on fiction or imagination. Usually, the writer uses an object, a person or an event in the real world and builds an imagined story, a poem, or a play around.

Also in this activity, teacher will guide students to brainstorm on kinds of literary works they would like to write on.
The teacher have to guide students to discuss and decide on which type or kind of literary work they can write on, that is, choosing either short story, short play, or poem and write one. For instance, the students may choose to write a short story, then they should guide the students to the procedures and requirements of writing a short story as follows:

Activity Two: Selecting the Kind of a Literary Work to write and Elements or Requirements of writing a particular or selected genre. Students should individually, choose one kind of literary work of their interest, and list down general ideas.
For example, if students choose to write the story, the teacher should guide them to the necessary requirements for writing a short story.

Guide them to the discussion of elements of a story. These are most necessary elements for any short story writer.
Any short story has the following literary elements:
1. Who: Characters, people, animals, things.
2. When, Where: Settings
3. Plot: What happens from the beginning (first-problem), middle (next), end (last-resolution). These are the simplest elements of any short story.

Activity Three: Guide them to the procedures of writing a short story.
The following are the procedures of writing a short story:
  1. Prompt: A narrative prompt will ask a writer to write a fictional or personal story.
  2. Grabber: Begin with an opening or sentence that hooks the reader. Start with the description of the setting or character.
  3. Conflict: What problem or dilemma does the main character face in the story.
  4. Action: Move the story along! What are 2 or 3 events that happen while trying to solve the conflict/problem.
  5. Solution: How is the conflict of the story finally solved?
  6. Takeaway: Wrap it all up! What did the main character learn or how did his/her life change?

Then, the series of the whole story can be:
Once upon a time, there was.......... Every day,.......... One day, .......
... Because of that, ............ Until finally, ............

Then, lastly a teacher asks students to write personal narrative. Tell them the stages of writing a personal narrative.
The teacher can guide students to write their own personal narrative.
Here, the teacher has to give out his/her model. Through his/her model, the students will learn how the personal narrative stories are written. It is easy to write these types of works. A teacher can just take one of the events in his/her life, and narrate it to the students.

Personal narrative is a kind of literary work written by a person about his/her own important moment in his/her life. It focuses on small moment in person's life.
Features of personal narrative:
  • Sequence. It must have beginning, middle, and end.
  • Characters. Who? What?
  • Emotions. It includes emotions.
  • It describes people, places, and things.
  • It uses dialogues.
  • Settings. It has the contexts where it takes place.

Personal narrative can be:
1. Personal (your life), or
2. Made up (fictional).

The purpose of narrative is to tell a story. A person describes an experience, event or sequence of events. Here is how the story is told:

How to start a story:
One day (time and date),
To begin,
In the beginning,

How to extend it:
After that,
Soon after,
Later that day,
The next day,
As soon as,
The next day,
During the next day,
Later (time) - day,

How to conclude the story
At last,
In conclusion,
As you can see,
To sum it up,
It was the best day,
To summarise

Teacher's Model

My Torn School Bag
One day I was swimming in Gala River. This river is located in a dense forest that surrounds Bars Village. As a stubborn child, I always wanted to swim in Gala River one day. Then came the day. I was grazing goats near the forest. I was suddenly occupied by the idea of going to swim in the river.
I started my adventure by riding my herd of goats to the river. When I reached there, I put off my clothes and jumped quickly in the river. I started enjoying the swimming, and the goats were satisfied and slept in the thickets and other surrounding bushes. It was very sunny. Under a certain tree, there was my school bag in which I used to carry various things in it. Mostly, it contained my food and fruits. Unaware of what might come next; wild pig ran from another side past the goats. The goats got terrified and ran away. The wild pig was probably being pursued. I decided to get out of the river, put on my clothes and started running towards where the goats were heading.

As I was running I met rhino. It charged towards me. I quickly climbed the nearby tree. The branch of tree I was holding was weak and I didn't know about it. It broke and I fell on rhino's horn through my back. Luckily, my school bag saved me. It was torn and inside my bad I was carrying pumpkin, so pumpkin also got crashed badly. I again climbed over the strong tree. I waited up there until the rhino was gone. It was at 7:00 pm, when my parents and other people who were looking for me found me. This is how my school bag saved me, and until today it has a hole at the centre.

Also you can read an interesting creative story in Form Three

Activity Four: Now students are guided by the teacher to draft and write their works, and go through to edit them. During editing, the teacher can ask students to exchange their works in pairs or in groups while teacher is moving around the class assisting students with ideas, style, and vocabulary.

Also during this activity, students have to support one another in checking spelling, vocabulary and grammar. Even when they have exchanged their works, students have to correct every detail in their fellows' works by following the guidelines provided by the teacher. Students should be encouraged not to favour their fellow students because by doing so they are not helping but destroying others.

On how to Compose Poems, Check Six Stages of Teaching How to Write Poems

*Literary techniques
For the discussion of literary techniques on How to write various literary works like short story, poem, and play, you can click Theory of Literature: An Introduction to Literature

*Features of an art
For Form One and Form Two Students who have no deep knowledge of Theory of Literature: An Introduction to Literature can be briefly introduced to the important elements when writing any literary work such as:
  • Plot - organization of events from beginning, middle to the end.
  • Characters - people in the story.
  • Setting - place where events of the story takes place.
  • Point of view - the point where story's events are observed.
  • Conflict - the problem that drives the story's events.
  • Theme - the idea the writer wants to convey.

Ask students if they enjoy reading some stories; be funny, comic or serious. If they say yes, now they experience stories or different literary works in their life. Ask them to remember the stories they learnt in Primary School. All these examples prove that literary works live in their own societies. Ask for those who are close to libraries to go and find out various literary works there.

The teacher should use relevant assessment tools like oral questions, drills, games, exercises, pair works, group works, and assignments so that to check if a student is able to write literary work using literary devices and skills.

After the sub topic, ask them if they can write literary works you have taught them. Give them writing assignments to prove if they have understood what you taught them.
Encourage them to continue writing literary works even after finishing the writing topic, and make sure you mark their works. Surely some students will have writing talents, so don't let their talents die inside the class. Allow them to explore things and writing ideas even outside the class.

Assessment #01
Ask students to write three-paragraph story out of their imagination. Students should create the whole story from his mind then write it on paper. Each of the students should choose one way of beginning the first paragraph in List A; another way of continuing the second paragraph in List B; and the way of finishing the story in the third paragraph in List C.

Once upon a time….
One day…..
One night…..
Long time ago….
One morning…..
Many years ago…..
After that……
As soon as……
Soon ……..
Later that day…..
Before long……
In the end…..
At the end of the……
As a result……
At last……..

Assessment #02
In small groups, select one interesting item in your class or school environment. Build a story by using few facts and imagination. Make the story as interesting as possible, then write it down and read it out to your classmates.

Assessment #03
Write an imaginary story that begins "One day", and ends with "I will never forget that day". Not less than 200 words.

This is mostly overlooked aspect among most English language teachers in 'O' Level. Appreciation can go to those teachers who implement this aspect, but those who do not implement this; they can surely change their mind after reading this guide. It's a good idea to help students master some creative writing skills before they go to another level of studies. As a teacher, your students should be proud of you when he/she joins other levels of studies. They should not put blames on whenever they encounter some challenges they face at other levels.
It's important to teach them even how to compose some simple stories, poems and dialogues (some short plays).

NOTE: These stages explained above are not necessarily covered in a single lesson of single or double period. Remember that this is the guide for teaching the whole sub topic which has periods ranging from 6 to 20. So, the teacher's task is to divide these stages according to the total number of periods for a particular sub topic.

This article is about how to study and teach "Creative Writing" in Form Three. As a student or teacher, you might have your opinion on how to study and teach this sub topic/lesson?
Your opinion is worth and I believe that it can make these materials better for our own consumption.
You are Welcome!

Check out how to Study & Teach other Form Three Sub Topics in this Blog!

Related Topics:

Also check out:

For more on Literature Topics, check out Literature in English Blog
For how to be professional keeper of your Diary in Kiswahili or English, check out My Diary


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Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.


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