This post is an a brief introduction to those contemplating using a Creative Writing Workshop in their Rotation Model. It's not quite a manual, but you are welcome to post one! Instead, this is a collection of ideas, some of which have been previously posted by others in this forum.
You are invited to share your ideas for this workshop by replying.
Designing Your Creative Writing Workshop
The Creative Writing Workshop is one of the least utilized workshops in Rotation Sunday School because teachers often have a limited understanding or limited experience with its many techniques. Here are some thoughts:
Creative writing does not mean "boring." It can be a powerful form of expression and a great way for students to share with one another.
Creative writing doesn't necessarily mean paper and pencil. See the techniques in this forum.
Creative writing doesn't mean a room full of chairs and tables. It can be a creative space that encourages thoughtful response and facilitate sharing/reading in a playful manner.Here's a creative Writing Workshop DECOR concept to get you thinking in a creative direction:
Create a coffee house-like "Hot Chocolate Bible Cafe" atmosphere. For sharing poems, create a stage with dramatic lighting, a stool and microphone. In other words, "play".
Creative writing lessons can include other types of activities, such as, art, or using written material in a game, or using it to create a skit or news show, or TV commercials about the Bible story.
Most of us are familiar with the idea of creative writing as a form of personal reflection, but it can be more. Writing can mean turning your kids into storywriters, or screenwriters, or journalists, or songwriters. While we're all familiar with writing poetry, writing a "TV Commercial" or "jingle" are also forms of creative writing, and may be more accessible to the children. The technique you choose is often inspired by the Bible story. A Psalm might inspire a poetry activity, whereas, the Fruits of the Spirit might inspire a script writing session for a brief skit or "fruit commercial."
While pen and paper is one way to "author", you might also consider other projects or media that involved writing, such as, computers, baking, and some art projects.
For example, tucked away in some popular Christian software programs are reflection activities that have the kids selecting words or typing content that the computer will speak out loud for them.
For example, you could create a pallet of words for a psalm on a magnet sheet, and then cut up the word sheets to form Bible word magnets that can go on the refrigerator at home to keep expressing praises.
For example, you could bake something to go with a handwritten card of thanksgiving that you want the children to give to someone special in their life.
For example, you can take what a student writes and turn it INTO an ART project.
Traditionally, writing is what you did at the END of the lesson to reflect. In the Writing Workshop, you will look for ways for students to contribute through writing in the beginning, during the study, and perhaps even as part of a game, drama or project.
At its heart, however, Creative Writing is about expressing yourself, --your own understanding, --your own response to the Word, and thus, takes place AFTER the Bible passage has been discussed.
Expand your concept of 'writing' by looking at the list of techniques posted by Phyllis Wezeman elsewhere in this forum.
The Writing Workshop can also INTRODUCE WRITINGS from other people. Famous Quotes, for example. You can also show or make videos of people RECITING what they have written.
The room is inviting and creative.
The teacher is enthusiastic about writing as a medium.
The Writing Workshop is one of those workshops which is often NOT A PERMANENT WORKSHOP. You might only use it three or four times a year depending on your story and creativity.
The Workshop Model recognizes that certain stories may be easier fits for a Creative Writing Workshop. Thus, a Writing Workshop might be great for studying a Psalm, but perhaps more difficult if you're studying Jesus' Cross.
Adaptations for Younger Children
How to do creative "writing' with younger children? You may need to expand your concept of what "writing" is. Non-readers can create shapes and draw simple words that they can know the meaning of. You can create a pallet of words they can copy.
You can also teach them to write simple Bible words, like "JESUS", ...and decorate each letter to represent something wonderful about Jesus so that their word becomes a picture as well.
You will see "younger children adaptations" in those Writing Team lesson sets here at Rotation.org that include Creative Writing Workshops.