Engaging Creativity in High School English Classes
By Mathilda Blevins, 11th Grade
High school English classes can seem tedious to many students. The focus on analysis can be intimidating, giving students the impression that they dislike writing as a whole and eliminating all of its potential benefits from their lives. If high school English classes were to allow for more creative writing in the curriculum, students could begin to see the many ways that analysis and creativity are compatible, as well as gain a deeper appreciation for writing. As a high school student, I’ve found that these types of assignments are great conductors of creativity and motivation that leave students excited and actively involved in their work.
Whether they relate to a subject being studied in class or are freestanding assignments, short stories are a fun and easy way for students to exercise their creativity through words. Chances are, some people in class will already have an interest in writing and experience creating their own stories. This assignment allows these students to complete classwork relevant to their interests, while the rest of the class will learn that anyone is capable of writing creatively.
Writing Inspired By an Author
A fun and thought provoking way to make students gain appreciation for a piece of writing is to challenge them to create a work in the style of the author. They can try their hand at writing poetry or prose, all while gaining a deeper understanding and newfound insight into a writer’s work. This confluence of analysis and creativity allows students to experience texts in a more meaningful way.
Journal entries are a great way of assigning creative work to students without using up class time. Specific topics for writing can be given, or they can write about whatever they choose. Not only is this an effective assignment in class, but the habit of writing in a journal is one that students can maintain for the rest of their lives if they choose.
Free Writing Periods
Possibly the best way to get students interested and motivated in writing is to show them that it can truly be a form of creation without restraint. The gift of occasional class periods dedicated to writing about any subject at all allows students to experience the malleability of creative writing as an art form. Writing doesn’t always have to feel like work!