4 October 2015

Do You Imagine?

Land of fire, land of winds, land of pixies, trolls and fairies. Land where unicorns run freely, steam mingles with greens and browns, water takes a life of its own in a myriad of forms. 

As a child growing up in the southern tips  of Africa, Iceland was my imaginary refuge. A land brimming with the wonders of nature, with caves and mountains, waves and mists. Above all, a land where I settled into imaginary worlds of bygone ages. 

Today, I look at my students and wonder where their imagination takes them to. Sometimes, too often, regrettably, not too far. 

And it is not for lack of trying - a teacher can encourage as much reading as possible but when it comes to writing, the task of imagination becomes more complex. There is language to start off with; then,  writing forms and formulas dictated by exams. Nevertheless, there are spaces in between where a teacher may find possible time for more creative, imaginative writing.

Images are fun to use as prompts; other times, and especially for lower levels of language learners, having them associate adjectives with nouns, is a helpful approach to writing. 

Creative writing is relevant, for without imagination, how will we sow the seeds of future creativity?

Here are some other ideas that may help spark a more imaginative, creative approach in writing:

Journal Buddies  is meant to help educators foster a taste for writing among young learners and among the different writing themes shared, offers a list of 56 Creative Writing Story Starters - many of these which are perfect for short writing tasks in the foreign language classroom. 

If students are keeping a writing portfolio, you will also find topics of inspiration. 

WritingPrompts  , brimming with provocative imagination,
it continues to be one of my favourite sites to dip into for inspiration.

Write About This is an app with both a free version and full version; simple to use and with stories then easily shared and exported to Dropbox or Google Drive. 

Or, why not use a short video to spark off a reflective piece of writing? From the Teach Hub, you can find videos and guidance such as these below:

Finding Nemo Video Writing Prompts

Video Writing Prompts: Toy Story 3

Where will your students find their unicorns this autumn?

What do you imagine?

Further Suggestions:

Future Of Storytelling - Vimeo

Gingerbread, Stars and Writing Prompts

Writing Prompts, A Story Dice and Book Creator

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