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Last edited by Luanne Payne
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Here's the list of creative writing teaching techniques generated during my "There are Methods to this Madness" workshops at various Rotation conferences.

  • Poetry: Cinquain poetry, Haiku, Bio poems, poems about feelings.
  • Write your own psalm or songs, Hymns, Lyrics for a familiar tune.
  • Re-write the Lord's Prayer.
  • Letters: Friendly letters -- community, Parent letters, Write a letter to your adult self.
  • Write Bible story from perspective of one of the characters, Write from the perspective of an inanimate object.
  • Class makes up a story with each kid adding a line.
  • Write drama, Scripting.
  • Newspapers ..."eye witness reports"
  • Letters to God    
  • Journals
  • Meditation booklet
  • Prayers
  • Litanies
  • Storyboarding
  • Cartooning
  • Biographies  (students or creating one for a character in the story)
  • Sequential stories
  • Banners
  • Posters
  • Limericks
  • Follow along story or poem
  • Story starters
  • First person, I was there...
  • Instruction manual  "The Samaritans Guide to Helping Others"
  • Interview
  • Affirmations
  • Best sellers
  • Dialogue
  • Essays  "Why I would have done..."
  • Writing in different environments
  • Monologue  (written then delivered)
  • Open-ended
  • Short story
  • Television scripts
  • Creating BOOK COVERS with include eye-catching title, title art, name of author, author bio, "reviews," synopsis
Last edited by Wormy the Helpful Worm

 

 

Create a MAP of a story, who lives where, metaphorical names of streets (What street would the Pharisee live on? Rich Young Ruler? What road was Jesus trying to send them down? etc.)

 

Create a MOVIE POSTER of the story. Creative Title, names of actors, produced/directed.  "Reviews" and audience comments.

Last edited by Wormy the Helpful Worm
Tell the Bible story through poetry!
by Phyllis Wezeman
This material was presented in the rotation.org email newsletter as the Teaching Tip of the month.

Tell the Bible story through poetry! Besides the rhyme and rhythm, the variety of styles of poetry make this a particularly attractive method to use with children, youth, and adults. Participants appreciate hearing the compositions of others, but especially enjoy writing their own work. Poetry can be incorporated into the Workshop Rotation Model in a number of learning situations. Creative Writing activities can enhance projects in Art, become songs in Music, and be used as responses in Cinema. Creative Writing can be the basis of a Computer lesson, the starting point for a script in Puppetry, or the conclusion of a Drama Workshop.

Here are creative writing ideas to help participants explore Biblical themes and concepts through poetry. Experiment, express, and educate by telling the story through poetry.


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Celebrate God's creation using Haiku
From the rotation.org email newsletter - July 2007


MATERIALS
Bible(s)
Crayons, colored pencils or markers
Formula for Haiku Poetry
Paper
Pencils or pens

METHOD
A Haiku is an unrhymed Japanese poem of three lines. It is usually light and delicate in feeling and is concerned with something lovely in nature, especially the seasons of the year. The formula for Haiku is:

  • Line One: Five syllables
  • Line Two: Seven syllables
  • Line Three: Five syllables.

    Write Haiku poems that express praise to God for various seasons of the year. An example involving summer is:

    Warm temperatures
    Bright sun; Beautiful flowers
    Summertime is here.


    If desired, use colored pencils, crayons or markers to draw illustrations that will enhance the theme.


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lantern Poetry
    From the rotation.org email newsletter - August 2007


    MATERIALS
    Bible(s)
    Formula for Lantern Poetry
    Paper
    Pencils or Pens

    METHOD
    A Lantern poem is a light and airy Oriental style of creative writing that is printed in the shape of a Japanese lantern. The structure for a Lantern poem is:

  • Line One: One syllable
  • Line Two: Two syllables
  • Line Three: Three syllables
  • Line Four: Four syllables
  • Line Five: One syllable

    Use Lantern poetry as a way to explore and express the meaning of a memory verse. For example, adapting the words of the familiar New Testament text John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life," the Lantern poem might read:

          Love 
         Jesus
       Salvation
      For all people
         Gift.


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    Bio Poem
    From the rotation.org email newsletter - September 2007


    MATERIALS
    Bible(s)
    Bulletin Board
    Duplicating equipment
    Fabric or paper background material for bulletin board
    Paper
    Pattern for Bio Poetry
    Pens
    Polaroid camera and film
    Stapler and Staples
    Tacks

    ADVANCE PREPARATION
  • Create a "Growing Christians" Bio Poem form and duplicate a copy for each student.
  • Cover a bulletin board with fabric or paper backing material.

    METHOD
    In First Timothy 4:12, Paul reminds his youthful co-worker that there is a place in God's Church for people of all ages. In keeping with this theme, create a "Growing Christians" bulletin board. Use it to share information about the children of the church with the adults of the congregation. Bio Poetry, a creative writing pattern that provides basic information about a person, is a great way to do this. Although the pattern may be modified to include different categories, one possible format would be:

    Name One line
    Three adjectives to describe the person Three lines
    Child of One line
    Sibling of One line
    Student at One line
    Likes Three to five lines
    Dreams of One or two lines
    Wants to One or two lines
    Wonders what One line
    Fears One line
    Plans One line
    Hopes One line
    Believes One or two lines.

    To begin the project, provide a pre-printed form and a pen for each student. Then help each child write one or two lines for each category, for example "likes" might include favorite foods and "wants to" may list ambitions in school or sports. If possible take an "instant" picture of the person and attach it to the paper. Once the information has been prepared, staple or tack each sheet to a bulletin board. Make the congregation aware of this new way to get acquainted with the "Growing Christians" of the church.

    --
    Exchange Volunteer added latest article from the email newsletter
  • Last edited by CreativeCarol
    More...Tell the Bible story through poetry!
    by Phyllis Wezeman
    This material was presented in the rotation.org email newsletter as the Teaching Tip of the month.


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ABC Poetry
    From the rotation.org email newsletter - October 2007

    MATERIALS
    Bible(s)
    Formula for ABC Poetry
    Paper
    Pencils or pens

    METHOD
    ABC poetry is written in a short form and expresses strong emotion. The initial letters of the beginning words in the first four lines are written alphabetically, for example C, D, E, F or M, N, O, P. The first line does not have to begin with A.

    The formula for ABC poetry is:
  • Lines One - Four
    Clauses beginning with four consecutive letters
  • Line Five
    A sentence beginning with any letter.

    Help children understand a Biblical concept, such as faith, by writing ABC poetry. For example:

    Faith
    God's guidance
    Hope for the future
    Incredible love
    Belief in the Savior.


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Acrostic Poem
    From the rotation.org email newsletter - November 2007

    MATERIALS
    Bible(s)
    Paper
    Pattern for Acrostic Poetry
    Pencils or pens.

    METHOD
    Since five diverse books of the Old Testament -- Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon -- are known as Poetry, sometimes called the Writings, construct an Acrostic poem to describe each text. In an Acrostic Poem, letters of a word are printed vertically down the left side of the page. A word, phrase, or sentence beginning with each letter is then written to develop the topic. For example:

    P oetic books in the Old Testament help us
    O bserve suffering in the book of Job;
    E xplore prayer and praise in 150 Psalms;
    T each tips for successful living in Proverbs;
    R espond to the meaning of life in Ecclesiastes;
    Y earn for a loving relationship like Christ and the church in Song of Solomon.

    Offer paper and pencils or pens and have each student create an Acrostic Poem on this theme or a topic that connects with a current lesson. Share the results, as each poem will turn out differently.


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    A-Z Poem - Another example
    From the rotation.org email newsletter - December 2007

    MATERIALS
    Bible(s); Construction paper or newsprint; Dictionary; Markers; Pattern for A-Z Poetry; Thesaurus.

    METHOD
    Select a subject, such as the attributes of God, and develop an A to Z poem of praise. Begin the poem by printing the words "God is …" on a piece of newsprint. Write the alphabet down the left side of the paper. Then, for every letter, brainstorm adjectives that describe attributes of God. Look through the Psalms to discover some of the characteristics and qualities of God, for example: God is forgiving, just, loving, merciful, and powerful. Use a dictionary or a thesaurus to help locate words, for example: A - Awesome, F- Faithful, S- Steadfast, T- Trustworthy, and so forth. Record the ideas on paper.

    Consider having individuals or small groups brainstorm several letters, and compile the poem as a cooperative effort. In addition, offer each child a piece of construction paper and the opportunity to compose his or her own A-Z poem.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Alliteration
    From the rotation.org email newsletter - January 2008

    MATERIALS
    Bible(s), Formula for Alliteration Poetry, Paper, Pencils or pens

    METHOD
    Alliteration is the repetition of a sound in two or more neighboring words. In this type of poetry, there is the same beginning letter for every word in the row. Alliteration poems may be one or more lines, rhymed or unrhymed. Respond to an Old Testament story, like David and Goliath by writing Alliterative poetry, such as:

    David's daring decision
    Face ferocious foe
    God's gracious guidance
    Turned trust to triumph.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cento Poem
    From the rotation.org email newsletter - February 2008

    MATERIALS
    Bible(s), Concordance, Paper, Pattern for Cento Poetry, Pencils or pens.

    METHOD
    In light of current events, repeat the message of "hope" that is offered to God's people by writing it in the form of a Cento poem. Cento, a style that dates back to the second century, is a Latin word which means patchwork. The objective in this type of creative writing is to put together lines of poetry, each of which is borrowed from the work of a different author. It can be any number of lines and does not have to rhyme.

    Choose a subject, such as "hope," as the theme of the poem. Find the word in a Bible reference book called a concordance. Look up several verses related to the topic. Borrow a line, or a phrase, from each passage to construct a Cento poem. For example:

    For never again shall the wicked invade you. Nahum 1:15
    Do not be afraid; for see -- I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people. Luke 2:10
    Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love. Psalm 107:15.

    Offer paper and pens or pencils for the project. After everyone has had an opportunity to create a Cento poem, share the examples with the class.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cinquain
    From the rotation.org email newsletter - March 2008

    MATERIALS
    Bible(s), Formula for Cinquain Poetry, Paper, Pencils or pens

    METHOD
    Cinquain is a simple, five-line verse form. Its structure follows specific rules:

    Line One
    One word of two syllables
    May be the title

    Line Two
    Four syllables
    Describes the subject or title

    Line Three
    Six syllables
    Shows action

    Line Four
    Eight syllables
    Expresses a feeling or observation about the subject

    Line Five
    Two syllables
    Describes or renames the subject.

    After reading a Psalm, paraphrase it by writing Cinquain poems. The members of the group may select the same or different Psalms. An example using Psalm 8 is:

    Heavens
    Filled with wonder
    Formed with sun, moon, and stars
    Displaying the greatness of God
    Mighty.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Clerihew Poem
    From the rotation.org email newsletter - April 2008

    MATERIALS
    Bible(s); Markers, pencils or pens; Paper; Pattern for Clerihew Poetry.

    METHOD
    A Clerihew Poem is a quatrain -- four lines -- based on someone's name and is designed to offer information about the personality of the person described in the poem. The rhyme scheme is AA, BB, which means that the last words of lines one and two rhyme, and the last words of lines three and four rhyme. Create a Clerihew based on the name "Christ" and share information about Paul's New Testament teachings about Jesus. For example:

    Christ Jesus is Lord
    And must be adored.
    He's all that I need
    For salvation -- indeed!

    After a lesson, emphasize the story by offering each participant a piece of paper and a marker, pencil, or pen. Direct the students to print the word "Christ" in the center of the sheet. They may use freehand skill, pre-cut letters, or stencil shapes to form the outline of the word. Guide the group as they create Clerihew Poems on this theme.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CLUSTER POEM
    From the rotation.org email newsletter - May 2008

    MATERIALS
    Bible(s), Markers, Paper, Pencils or pens.

    METHOD
    As a way to acknowledge, or thank, God for God's faithful love, write a "Cluster Poem" as a class project. Select a piece of paper and print the phrase "Thank You" in the center of the sheet. Next, brainstorm associations, feelings, ideas, and images that come to mind in response to the words "Thank You." Cluster -- or group -- them on the sheet. Look over the words and offer a prayer expressing thanks for God's blessings, asking forgiveness for forgetting God's gifts, and praising God for His faithful love. Be sure to include words and phrases that thank God for Jesus, the Savior, and for the great gift of salvation that restores the relationship between God and God's people.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    COUPLET
    From the rotation.org email newsletter - June 2008

    MATERIALS
    Bible(s), Formula for Couplet Poetry, Hymnal, Paper, Pencils or pens

    METHOD
    Couplets follow a simple pattern and consist of two rhyming lines. Lines can be any length, and the rhythm and rhyme should match the thought or mood of the poem. Use this easy style to write prayers, such as:

    My good friend Tim is very sick
    Please help him to get better quick.

    Many stanzas of hymns are in couplet form. Illustrate this by showing examples and offering some of these lines as prayers, too. Using two lines from the favorite carol, "Away In A Manger," the prayer would be:

    "Be with me Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay,
    Close by me forever, and love me I pray."

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DADA
    From the rotation.org email newsletter - July 2008

    MATERIALS
    Bible(s), Bowl, Formula for Dada Poetry, Glue, Magazines, Newspaper, Paper, Pencils or pens, Scissors

    METHOD
    Dada poetry was originally written by artists and poets in Paris, France, who clipped words from newspapers, scrambled them, and then arranged them in lines to form verses. Express the essence of a season of the Church Year, such as Easter, through this form of creative writing. Write down or cut out ten verbs, such as "alive" or "arose;" eight nouns, for example, "Jesus,"" "angel," and "disciples;" and some articles like "a," "an," and "the." Jumble them up in a bowl and draw them out one at a time. Arrange the words on a piece of paper until they form an Easter message. Glue them in place.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Exchange Volunteer Carol added latest article from the email newsletter.
  • Last edited by CreativeCarol
    More...Tell the Bible story through poetry!
    by Phyllis Wezeman
    This material was presented in the rotation.org email newsletter as the Teaching Tip of the month.


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DIAMOND
    From the rotation.org email newsletter - August 2008

    MATERIALS
    Bible(s)
    Formula for Diamond Poetry
    Paper
    Pencils or pens

    METHOD
    Share a current event story, which presents a problem such as care of the environment, and come up with creative solutions through a poetry project. Use a five-line diamond shaped poem for this process. The formula for Diamond poetry is as follows:

  • Line One
    One word which is an opposite of line five
  • Line Two
    Two words which describe line one
  • Line Three
    Three words which resolve the conflict
  • Line Four
    Two words which describe line five
  • Line Five
    One word which is an opposite of line one.

    For example:
            Litter
       Garbage everywhere
    New     uses       found
       Gather.   Collect.
            Recycle.



    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    QUATRAIN
    by Phyllis Wezeman
    From the rotation.org email newsletter as the Teaching Tip of the month for January 2009.

    MATERIALS
    Bible(s)
    Formula for Quatrain Poetry
    Glue
    Magazines
    Paper
    Pencils or pens
    Scissors

    METHOD
    Quatrains are four line poems that may follow any one of four different rhyme patterns:

  • AABB
    Lines One (A) and Two (A) end with words that rhyme.
    Lines Three (B) and Four (B) end with words that rhyme.

  • ABAB
    Lines One (A) and Three (A) end with words that rhyme.
    Lines Two (B) and Four (B) end with words that rhyme.

  • ABBA
    Lines One (A) and Four (A) end with words that rhyme.
    Lines Two (B) and Three (B) end with words that rhyme.

  • ABCB
    Line One (A) does not rhyme with the other three lines.
    Lines Two (B) and Four (B) end with words that rhyme.
    Line Three (C) does not rhyme with the other three.

    When Quatrains are combined to make a long poem, each group of four lines is called a stanza. Use Quatrains to teach the stories of great persons of faith: past, present, and future. It might be helpful to cut pictures from magazines and to write verses about these people. Using the life of Mother Theresa as an example, a Quatrain with an ABCB rhyming pattern might read:

    Mother Theresa helped the poor
    She offered loving care.
    She shared God's love in many ways
    With people everywhere.

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    TANKA
    by Phyllis Wezeman
    From the rotation.org email newsletter as the Teaching Tip of the month for April 2009.

    MATERIALS
    Bible(s)
    Formula for Tanka Poetry
    Paper
    Pencils or pens

    METHOD
    Tanka is another Oriental verse form much like Haiku except that two more lines of seven syllables each are added to give this type of poetry a total of thirty-one syllables. The format for Tanka poetry is:

    Line One
    Five syllables

    Line Two
    Seven syllables

    Line Three
    Five syllables

    Line Four
    Seven syllables

    Line Five
    Seven syllables

    Use the Tanka formula to help the participants share their own stories. Suggest that everyone write a Tanka describing him or her self. For example:

    Mrs. Stevenson
    Teacher; Guide; Friend; Example
    Shows concern and care
    Prepares exciting lessons
    Listens; Laughs; Learns; Loves; and Leads.


    ----
    Exchange Volunteer updated post to add newest entry.
  • Last edited by CreativeCarol

    Ideas for adapting the creative writing workshop to young students and/or non-writers.

    1. You could use rubber stamps of word-pictures (man, fish, boat, bread, sheep, heart) from the story and let them stamp out a rebus story?

    2. If you had enough adults/teens, you could have the kids dictate the stories.

    3. For very beginning writers, a word wall with words you expect they will want might help them write. It would also help if you used the paper that has room for a picture on top and the special handwriting space below.



    Last edited by Wormy the Helpful Worm
    ACCORDION FOLDED BOOK
    by Phyllis Wezeman
    This material was presented in the rotation.org email newsletter as the Teaching Tip of the month for September 2008.


    MATERIALS
    Bible(s); Crayons or markers; Letter stickers or small stencil sheets; Pencils; Ribbon; Rulers; Scissors; Tape; White drawing paper, 12" x 18".

    ADVANCE PREPARATION
    Cut paper lengthwise into strips 6" x 18".

    METHOD
    Make an accordion-folded book and fill it with interesting information about the life of a person from the Bible. Take two 6" x 18" pieces of white paper and match up two of the short ends. Place the ends together but do not overlap the paper. Carefully tape the paper to form a 6" x 26" strip. Fan-fold the strip into eight equal sections which will be 4 1/2" x 6". Be sure to press the folds for sharp creases.

    Place the booklet on a table and letter the name of the Biblical person, for example David, on the top section. Review Scripture passages in the books of First and Second Samuel for ideas to add to each page: David becomes king over all Israel; David conquers Jerusalem; David brings the ark to Jerusalem; David receives God's promise that the Messiah will come from David's family; David prepares materials to build the temple; David instructs his son Solomon about the temple construction; David dies. Using crayon or marker, add illustrations to the pages. Tie a ribbon around the completed book.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-ADVENTURE STORY
    by Phyllis Wezeman
    From the rotation.org email newsletter - October 2008


    MATERIALS
    Bibles or Children's Bibles, Paper, Pencils.

    METHOD
    Writing in response to the story of a person of faith can be a powerful tool for understanding the significance of human choices. Many people should be familiar with a "Choose-your-own-adventure" style of writing. In such stories writers pause at critical moments and let readers have a choice in how the plot progresses. If one choice occurs, the resulting story will have one outcome; if the opposite happens, the plot will develop quite differently.

    As a Biblical story, like Esther, unfolds many characters are faced with decisions that impact the story's outcome. Obviously, the most important choice occurs when Esther decides to go to the king on behalf of her people. Brainstorm "critical moments" in the story, starting from the beginning when Vashti refuses to go to the king. List as many of these decisive moments as possible. Then select one of the critical moments and write an alternative choice and result. Read the stories as a group or leave the creative writing projects in a place for others to review.


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DICTIONARY/VOCABULARY WORDS
    by Phyllis Wezeman
    This material was presented in the rotation.org email newsletter as the Teaching Tip of the month for November 2008.

    MATERIALS
    Bibles; Bible Dictionary; Dictionary; Hole punch; Paper; Pencils or pens; Ribbon, string or yarn; Scissors.

    METHOD
    The Bible includes many difficult words that need to be understood by Christians of all ages -- those new to the faith as well as those mature in their beliefs. Create a dictionary -- a list of vocabulary words and their explanations -- as a way to define, or interpret, some of the terms in the Bible or in a specific book or story. For example, look through Paul's Epistle to the Romans to find key words and unfamiliar terms that need to be explained. Be sure that the selection of words includes concepts like faith, grace, and saints, as well as terms such as justification, righteousness, and sanctification.

    Work individually or in small groups to locate definitions in standard dictionaries, and in Bible reference books. Select paper and pencils or pens and create a "dictionary" by listing the selected words in alphabetical order and writing a phrase or a sentence to explain each of them. For example, Faith -- complete trust; Grace -- undeserved favor from God; and Sin -- separation from God. Once the list is compiled, add a decorative cover. Punch the pages and bind them with ribbon, string, or yarn. Share the dictionaries so that others may gain a better understanding of these important words from Romans as well as grasp the meaning of Gods' great love for each of God's children.


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    FLIP BOOK
    by Phyllis Wezeman
    This material was presented in the rotation.org email newsletter as the Teaching Tip of the month for December 2008.

    MATERIALS
    Bible(s); Colored pencils, crayons, and/or markers; Construction paper or index cards, 3" x 5"; Pencils; Reference books; Scissors; Stapler and staples.

    METHOD
    Re-tell one or more of the stories recorded in the Bible by making and using a flip book. To illustrate the story of the "Battle of Jericho," read the account in Joshua 6. Choose or cut ten small pieces of paper, approximately 3" x 5" each, and a pencil. On the first piece of paper, draw a picture of the walls of the fortified city. On the second page draw the walls staring to collapse, and on pages three through nine, illustrate progressive stages of the crumbling of the walls. On page ten, draw a pile of rubble on the ground. Color the pictures with pencils, markers, or crayons.

    Stack the drawings in order, with page one on the top and page ten on the bottom. If desired, add a front and back cover that may include title, reference, and artist's name. Staple the pages together on the left side of the papers. Flip the book and watch the walls collapse.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SHAPE BOOK
    By Phyllis Wezeman
    This material was presented in the rotation.org email newsletter as the Teaching Tip of the month for February 2009.

    MATERIALS
    Bibles
    Cardboard
    Construction paper
    Glue
    Hole punch
    Markers
    Old magazines
    Pencils
    Ribbon, string or yarn
    Tablet pattern
    White drawing paper

    METHOD
    Create a shape book to illustrate the meaning of an important Biblical passage, such as the Ten Commandments. Select ten sheets of white drawing paper for the pages of the book and two pieces of colored construction paper for the front and back covers. Using a tablet pattern and a pencil or marker, trace the design onto the twelve pieces of paper. Cut out the shapes. Print each commandment on a separate piece of white paper, including its number and Scripture reference. Using markers and magazine pictures, create an illustration for each commandment on its respective page. Then use words to summarize the meaning of each of God's laws.

    Design a front and a back cover for the book. Stack the pages, in order, and punch two holes at the top of each page. Tie the papers together with ribbon, string, or yarn. Share your ideas with others by leaving the shape book until the end of the session.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    STORY STEMS
    By Phyllis Wezeman
    This material was presented in the rotation.org email newsletter as the Teaching Tip of the month for March 2009.

    MATERIALS
    Bibles
    Chalkboard and chalk or newsprint and marker
    Paper
    Pencils

    ADVANCE PREPARATION
    Pre-write the "Story Stems" on a chalkboard or a piece of newsprint. As an alternative, duplicate a copy for each participant.

    METHOD
    Use "Story Stems" as the basis of a creative writing project to help each participant acknowledge what Jesus means to him or her. Review the story of Peter's profession of faith, recorded in Matthew 16:16. When Jesus asked the disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter was the first to answer: "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." If we claim that answer as our own, we live with the hope of eternal life that Jesus offers to those who believe in him as their Savior.

    Refer to the "Story Stems" that have been written on a chalkboard or on a piece of newsprint. They might include:

    If you say that Jesus is truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God …

    … when did you discover the truth that Jesus is your Savior?

    … who helped you acknowledge Jesus' place in your life?

    … can others learn this truth by observing your life of faith?

    Provide paper, pencils or pens, and Bibles, and allow time for each person to complete his or her responses. Assure the group that their answers will be kept private if they do not wish to share them with others.

    ----
    Exchange Volunteer updated post to add newest entry.
    Last edited by CreativeCarol

    Try "five senses" poems. (or 3 senses for younger children).

     

    Discuss your topic and then have them describe the topic using their senses -- We did this a few weeks ago in our Fruit of the Spirit unit on Wednesday nights, first we did a class poem all together, then each child did his/her own. The older kids ended with a prayer. We wrote with calligraphy pens and decorated with water colors! They are beautiful and wonderfully creative! I will have pictures on our website in a few days! Here are some examples:

    Joy (by a 6th grader)


    Joy looks like a beautiful sunrise.
    Joy sounds like the dance music.
    Joy smells like freshly washed hair
    Joy tastes like sizzling fajitas.
    Joy feels like snowflakes on my tongue.

    Thank you God for letting me feel joy in my life.



    Joy (by a 2nd grader)


    Joy tastes like homebaked chocolate chip cookies
    Joy smells like puppy breath
    Joy feels like a warm, snuggly puppy.

    (Can you guess that this child just got a new puppy?)

     



    I have also done an Advent poem with, amazingly, 3-5th grade boys. It was about Jesus being the light. I prompted them to describe Jesus as the light .. what light is, what light does, where light goes, why we need the light, etc. It was beautiful! They read it during worship as the Advent candles were being lit.

    Go for it! I think this is an area we could really develop!

    Jaymie

    Last edited by Wormy the Helpful Worm

    My 5th grade son's class at public school just did what his teacher called

     

    an "Auto-bio-poem".

     

    The prompts were:

    Your first name only
    Four traits (adjectives) which describe you
    Son/Daughter of ____ or brother/sister of ___
    Lover of (3 ideas or people or a combination)
    Who feels (3 emotions or sensations)
    Who finds happiness in (3 items)
    Who needs (3 items)
    Who gives (3 items)
    Who fears (3 items)
    Who would like to see (3 places or items)
    Who enjoys (3 items)
    Who likes to wear (3 colors or items)
    Resident of (your city or street)
    Your last name only

    Of course, we'd add some spiritual lines, too, like ...

    Who calls God (3 adjectives to describe God)

    Last edited by Wormy the Helpful Worm

    Resources for poetry reading and writing with kids
    (These and others should be available at the public library -- check the catalog or Dewey Decimal number 808.1.

    There are also lots of websites with lesson plans for teachers that you can adapt -- www.42explore.com is a good place to start.

    • Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Pass the Poetry, Please! HarperTrophy: New York, 1987.
    • Janeczko, Paul B. A Kick in the Head: An Everyday guide to Poetic Forms. Candlewick Press: Cambridge, MA, 2005.
    • Janeczko, Paul B. Poetry from A to Z: A Guide for Young Writers. Bradbury Press: New York, 1994.
    • Livingston, Myra Cohn. Poem Making: Ways to Begin Writing Poetry. HarperCollins: New York, 1991.
    Last edited by Luanne Payne

    Originally posted by Neil MacQueen in a journaling/creative writing brainstorming thread.

    MAILBOX TO GOD

    SENDING A LETTER TO GOD

    RECEIVING LETTERS from GOD

    At the top of Bible Point at the YMCA Camp of the Rockes is a "Mailbox to God" full of notebooks, paper and pens. Older kids I've taken there have enjoyed READING what other kids are thinking, then adding their own comments.

    Here's a picture of it:

     

    Imagine, then, in any workshop, or in the creative writing workshop, that you had an old-fashioned mailbox which had a letter from God in it to introduce the lesson, and into which children could post letters back to God about the lesson... answering perhaps God's Questions that were in the opening letter.

    One of the neat things about the Bible Point mailbox was reading the brief stories and prayers written by other "hikers". Some of the writings went back years. Adapt this idea to have your OLDER STUDENTS LEAVE MESSAGES and PRAYERS FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN. 

    This "leave messages for" idea can include photos/drawings.

    Reasons why this works:

    1) Anonymity. Especially for older kids, writing to the future and to kids who are younger is 'safer' than expressing your deep thoughts in front of your peers.

    2) Older kids feel less self-conscious writing something "for the younger kids" than for themselves or their peers. This bit of 'mis-direction" helps them get past their fears and open up.

    It would be easy to just come up with a cheap looking mailbox/shoebox, but why not go ALL OUT and get a real mailbox on a post that can be put in or brought into the workshop?

    ...That's real Workshop Model-thinking there 

    Imagine as you pray over the mailbox, you invite a student to flip up the red flag at the "amen".

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    Last edited by Luanne Payne

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