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Creative writing for lower primary

20 Creative Writing Activities for Elementary Students

Writing activities have an emotional toll on young learners, given the sheer volume of letters to learn by heart, words to spell, and sounds to remember. Your students will be more excited doing tasks they consider easier, such as character description. Perhaps it’s time you considered introducing fun activities to help the learners in their writing. Here are 20 of our go-to fun activities for creative writing skills among elementary kids.

1. Writing a Comic Strip

Create a comic book idea, leaving the speech bubbles around the characters empty for the students to fill. Alternatively, you can source the comic from your favorite magazine or author and rub out the dialogue between the characters for the learners to complete.

2. Mad Libs

Have the students copy a few paragraphs from a famous book. Ask them to erase words they wish to remove and replace them with a blank line. Under the space, the students should give a hint to indicate the required type of phrase or word.

3. Vocabulary Challenge

Select a new word for the learners and explain its meaning to them. Ask them to create a sentence using the new term. Tell them to practice writing an entire story based on this word.

4. Using an I-Spy Jar

Ask a reluctant writer to practice writing their names by fetching and arranging all the letters that make it. For an older writer, ask them to pick an object from the jar, redraw it and give a brief description of what it is or the scene.

5. Identifying Objects

This reading and writing game is suitable for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten-aged students. Ask them to color the object highlighted in the descriptive sentence. It enhances their fine motor skills, memories, and emotion.

6. Picture Dictionary

The goal of picture dictionaries will help early learners who are struggling with creative writing exercises and reading skills. Ask children to match the words provided at the top to the activities being performed in the pictures. This reading and writing activity can be developed for individuals, families, or the classroom.

7. Journal writing

Journal writing works for learners who excel in creative stories or drawing. Have your students engaged in daily writing tasks. For instance, what food did they eat for lunch or a boring character in a favorite piece of writing?

8. Roll a Story

Roll a story will have the learners enjoy rolling dice to discover the character or scene they will be exploring in their writing. Examples of a scene they can get include casino, school, or ancient pyramid.

9. Copy-writing

On a drawing paper, make a word entry and ask the pupils to highlight it with a paintbrush or crayon. These creative writing exercises’ goal is to enhance the learner’s artistic, emotional, and fine motor skills.

10. Pass-it-on Story Writing

This writing game engages the language input of creative writing classes. Write the first scene of a story on a piece of paper. Have the learners come up with a sentence that continues the story. The paper is then passed on to the next child until every student has written something.

11. Sentence Scramble Writing

This writing activity’s goal is to help children to improve their writing and sentence-building abilities. Ask the child to cut out the words at the bottom of the paper and rearrange them correctly to form a sentence.

12. Picture Writing Prompts

Creative writing prompts activities test not only imagination but also a learner’s ability to make conversation on behalf of characters. Provide an entry with a picture accompanied by 3-4 writing prompts to guide them in exploring the scene. A sample question for the scene above will be, “Do the lambs feel safe with the lion?”

13. Cut Out My Name

Help your kindergarten students in writing their names with this fun writing activity. Print out the learner’s name. Next, print the letters of the pupil’s name and mix them with a few random characters. Cut them apart and ask them to sort out the letters in their name.

14. Cards

Writing cards helps students to engage in purposeful moments. Provide the learners with blank holiday or birthday cards. Ask them to draw or write something to the card’s receiver. Alternatively, students can design their cards and write down the desired message.

15. Grocery List

Sit down with the child and help them write a list of healthy food items or other household objects you require. In the grocery store, have them cross out the items as they are added to the shopping cart.

16. Label a Diagram

Engage your child’s reading and writing abilities by printing out a diagram of simple objects such as flowers, insects, or external human body parts. Provide a list of the answers to the parts and ask them to write the word that matches each in the blank space.

17. Disappearing Words

On a chalkboard, write down a word. Ask the learners to erase the word with a wet sponge. This way, the learners will learn how to design the letters of the alphabet. Although this writing activity is the opposite of copywriting, they both serve the same purpose.

18. Write a Story Based on the Ending

Test your student’s creativity by providing them with writing prompts that focus on an entire book, a song, or a famous story. For instance, ask students to write a story based on the ending, “And they lived happily ever after.”

19. Found Poetry

Collect words or a group of words from a favorite story or song. You can either write them on a piece of paper or cut them out of a printed page. The overall goal is to rearrange the words differently to make an interesting poem with a unique writing style or genre.

Creative writing techniques for kids: a step-by-step guide to writing a story

Encouraging children to write a story of their very own can give them an enormous confidence boost, as well as help them consolidate their literacy learning by putting their phonics, grammar and reading skills into practice. Primary teacher Phoebe Doyle offers parents tips on how to get their children’s creative thoughts flowing.

The way literacy is taught in primary schools has changed radically in the last couple of decades; when I was at school in the 80s we copied from blackboards, had whole hours of handwriting practice and sweated over spellings without any formal teaching of phonics whatsoever. While I think the more structured approach to literacy teaching we see in classrooms today makes learning more fun and accessible, my one worry is that there’s little time left for writing creatively.

When I was at school I adored writing stories – even stories with chapters and illustrations. I know my author brother did too – we found some of his old stories a few years back, and I felt so pleased he’d had the time to write these endless pages of action, adventure, characterisation and twisting plotlines.

As a primary teacher I ensured I would have a week each term when, during literacy sessions, we would focus solely on creating stories. I wasn’t deviating from the curriculum – far from it. During this week children would be consolidating their learning of phonics and be ‘writing for purpose’, considering carefully the aspects of story and who their audience might be.

It may very well be that your children write stories at home regardless of whether they’re required to for school, because most children have a seemingly natural urge to want to do so from time to time. This is just a little guidance on how you can support them and encourage a more structured approach to their story writing.

Plot planning

Firstly, ask your child where the story is going to take place. It could be somewhere fictional or real, it could be a planet, a country, a town or a house – anywhere!

Then, ask when the story is taking place – now? In the future? In the past?

Finally ask what they think is going to happen. Remember that this doesn’t have to be accurate and they don’t have to stick to what they say; many of the best writers say that their plots develop organically as they write. If they do have a firm idea of where they want to go with the plot, though, they can create an outline by completing a story planner, which could look something like this:

Download a FREE Creative Writing toolkit!

  • KS1 & KS2 workbooks
  • Bursting with fill-in prompt sheets and inspiring ideas
  • Story structure tips, style guides and editing suggestions

Characterisation

Ask your child who is going to be in the story. How do they want their readers to feel about each character? Again, they may want to jot some ideas down. You could make a table for them to help them organise their thoughts, with these headings:

  • Name of character
  • Relationship to other characters
  • What he/she looks like
  • Behaviour

Story language

Ask your child to think of some fabulous words to use in their story writing. They might be long words or simple ones, or they might be great descriptive words or words that help create pace and tension. Encourage them to jot these down and refer to the list as they write their story.

Story starters

All writers know that you’ve got to capture the attention of your readers right from the start; you want to make them desperate to read on. Ask your child to think of some good story openers that’ll entice people to find out more. Here are a few examples:

First sentences that are mysterious…
Molly had no sense of the day that lay ahead.

Story starters that use language tricks like alliteration…
It was damp, dark and dreadfully dusty when Molly entered the house.

Story openers that create tension…
Molly could hear her heart beating faster than ever before. Could this really be happening?

Stories that go straight into dialogue…
“But I don’t want to go to school, Mummy,” groaned Molly.

Encourage your child to look at some of the books they like to read and see how they begin in order to offer inspiration.

Get writing!

Once they’ve got all of these ideas in place, they can start writing. They could do a draft in the first instance and then a neat, polished version later. They may wish to write in short chapters, use illustrations, or make their own book to write in – let them use their imagination and creativity when it comes to presentation, and make sure you show how much you value the end product by keeping it to read again with the other books in your house.

If your child finds writing a story a little daunting, start with something small from our list of 9 fun writing projects to do with your children.

We also recommend the free art and creative writing challenges on the Night Zookeeper website; your child will be contributing to a co-created animated television show.

You could also try a great story-making app and get your child writing fiction on their tablet!

Plus, find out how to support storytelling skills for children in EYFS, KS1, KS2 and KS3 to get them thinking about story elements, plot and character development.