Inspiring pre-teens to tackle creative writing assignments not only provides an outlet for self expression, it also allows them to experiment with words in new ways. The activities you choose can include prompts, or emulation activities based on books they're reading or have read. The goal is to empower pre-teens to feel comfortable expressing themselves through the written word. Each activity gives the kids a chance to further hone the creation of a setting, characters and navigate plot, according to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
1. Description-Based Activities
The art of concise, vivid description is one of the pillars of strong creative writing. Learning to build a descriptive piece by incorporating all the senses, not just the visual, allows pre-teens to focus on the description itself, rather than worrying about plot or characters. Ask them to write one page focusing on a single object or place, something like the soccer field, or their clarinet case, that they know well and has personal meaning to them.
2. Historical Prompts
Writing about a specific time period or era that your pre-teens are reading about helps expand their understanding of the setting, actions and details of that time. If they're reading "All Quiet on the Western Front," encourage them to write a story about going off to war or being in battle. If they're studying the colonial period, have them write a piece from the personal viewpoint of their choice during a particular event. This will encourage them to think of how different people and characters interpret different events.
Personal relationships and friendships are growing and strengthening quickly throughout the pre-teen years. Have your pre-teens write about the most surprising interaction they had with someone in the last year, or the most meaningful. Keep in mind that pre-teens might be shy and reluctant to write their true feelings if they think they'll have to read their work aloud. As an alternative, encourage the kids to detail a pivotal interaction between a parent and child or two siblings or best friends.
Read an allegory out loud to your pre-teens and ask they kids to write a short allegory of their own. Because this task is complex, you may need to brainstorm some ideas for allegories together as a group before sending the pre-teens off to write their own. If an entire story seems overwhelming, encourage them to outline a particular animal character, this helps pre-teens develop the framework of a character without getting bogged down by the logistics associated with stories involving people.
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images