Looking for some fun ways to get your students warmed up before starting a creative writing unit? These following prompts are great ways to get your students writing and can give material for students to come back to and work on more in-depth later.
I like to give students about 10 minutes to work on the warm-up, give a lesson around an element of creative writing (character, plot, using imagery and descriptive details, etc), and then allow students some time to work on a longer piece of their choosing. At a later date, we would talk about editing and revising and they would have the option to workshop and/or receive peer feedback on their work. Here are 3 creative writing prompts that make great warm-ups!
- Use pictures to inspire characters. Project the following three images. Have students pick one of the characters and briefly write down what name they would give the character and some of their backstory. Have them talk to a partner about the character they picked, what they named them, and some key points from their backstory. Encourage the partner to ask questions. Ensure that both partners have a chance to talk about their character. Afterwards, encourage your students to write a short story that involves two of these characters meeting and to hang onto these characters to use in futures storied.
- Randomize the plot. I would generally use this prompt the day after the first prompt. As a class, brainstorm 6 big events that could happen in a story. This could include: there is an avalanche, marshmallows begin to rain from the sky, etc. Write them on the board and number them 1-6. Have students pick a character from the day before and roll a dice. They start writing a story with the character and the event that was just rolled. Re-roll the dice several times during the writing period and have students include those rolled events into their story.
- Use a picture to inspire plot. Put a picture on the projector such as the one below. Have students write about what they think is happening in the picture. After about 3 minutes, get them to write about what they think happened an hour before the picture was taken. Give them another 3 minutes and then have them write about the morning before the picture was taken. Then, 3 minutes later have them write about the day before, then the month before, and finally 1 year before.
I hope your class enjoys these warm-ups! Let me know how they went in the comments below.