My favourite part of teaching English has always been creative writing. I suppose that’s no surprise considering I am a writer myself.
Last week (November 2019) I was asked to deliver a creative writing workshop for a school in Kent. It’s something I’d thought about doing for a while, so when they asked, I jumped at the chance.
The day comprised of two sessions in which Key Stage 3 students planned, wrote and edited part of their own spy story. Students came away from the session with the whole story planned and the first few paragraphs written and edited.
I ended the sessions taking questions about my own writing. We discussed how I develop my ideas, plan my writing, the importance of vocabulary and how editing is central to the writing process.
I’m now offering this workshop to other schools around the UK. If you’re looking for something to inspire your young writers, then get in touch.
The session – spies creative writing workshop
Based loosely on the ‘Spies’ scheme of work I shared about a year ago, the session had students build their own spy story from the ground up. We thought about what made a good spy story, what the hero and villain should be like, the main beats of the story and the descriptive techniques we would need to tell it effectively. I also interleaved some spy-related vocabulary which many students managed to utilise in their writing.
During the session we:
- Looked at excerpts from famous spy stories
- Thought about what made the writing exciting and engaging. This involved villains, car chases, gadgets and even fight scenes. (The boys especially liked describing the car chases and fight scenes!)
- Finally, we wrote a section of our own spy story which we intended to thrill everyone who read it.
Over the course of the day, I delivered the session twice. Each one lasted two and a half hours.
Looking for something for year 11?
I’m now in the process of developing a workshop to help year 11 students with their English Language creative writing task. I’ll share more details of this when it’s tried and tested, but if it’s something you’re interested in — get in touch.