Over the past six months, I've had the pleasure of learning from Ian Chia (@ianchia) as part of my Twitter PLN. Ian is incredibly creative, and really pushes me to think and try things that I never did in the past. Ian also lives and works in Australia, and learning as much as I do from Ian, continually reminds me that with the use of Web 2.0 tools, the world is definitely a lot smaller.
A couple of weeks ago, I had a Skype call with Ian early one morning (late one night for him), and he invited my class to do something special. He wanted my students to think about something small that captures their attention, but that adults often ignore (e.g., the ants crawling around on the floor), and write about it. Ian didn't care if the final product was perfect, but what he was really interested in was the "process." How did the students develop their ideas? What did they discuss? What interested them?
Creative Writing on PhotoPeach
For our Friday Journal this week, my students worked in partners on this writing activity. They were so excited! I gave them the use of any tool and topic that they wanted. All that I required was that they were creative, and allowed themselves to just let go and write. The results were amazing! The students planned their written pieces -- making a list of characters, setting, problems, and solutions -- and then started writing. For over two hours, our room was a real writers' workshop. I was sitting with groups, hearing their ideas, watching them write, and seeing them have fun too. Not all of the groups are finished yet, but they will have some more opportunities in the coming weeks to finish their writing then. Have a look though at what they did create.
Ian's invitation really pushed my students to step out of their comfort zone, experiment with different tools, and try different writing forms, all while having fun writing too. Thanks Ian for helping my students work through the creative writing process while completing some finished pieces that they feel proud of as well.
Have you ever tried a similar writing activity before? What were the results? I would love to hear about your experiences as well!