Creative writing workshop: Quick-fire games

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By Pie Corbett poet, author and freelance educational consultant

More games are available in his book Jumpstart! Literacy Games, published by David Fulton (£8.99 PB)

Kick-start your class’ creative thinking with these five-minute ideas

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This article is the first in a series of four writing workshops, designed to develop children’s imagination and writing skills. This month, Pie Corbett introduces a selection of games that can be a useful part of a writing lesson, as a way of warming up the brain so that children are in a creative mood, their brains buzzing with ideas and language.

Since the advent of the Numeracy Strategy, we’ve all been used to using mini whiteboards for lesson ‘starters’ to develop rapid mathematical thinking. Why not use them for literacy lessons as well? The following eight games can be played with any class as warm-up exercises. They are a quick-fire strategy for involving every child in developing the ability to generate words and ideas rapidly, strengthening their ability to think creatively.

Rules for creative games

  1. Keep a brisk pace.
  2. Encourage rapid thought.
  3. All ideas are acceptable – though some can be improved.
  4. Steadily increase the challenge.
  5. Value the children’s ideas.
  6. Occasionally model your own responses.
  7. Pick out a few interesting ideas and then move on.
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