Creative Writing Questions Help Students Think Outside the Box
There’s no right or wrong way to integrate creative writing into your classroom—the practice has distinct benefits for students of all ages and can easily be adapted and tailored to meet the individualized needs of each child. However, one of our favorite ways to get students thinking outside the box is through the use of creative writing questions.
Creative writing questions (or journal prompts) are one of the most effective ways to get kids thinking, reflecting, and writing about topics and ideas that can have a major impact on their lives. Because some students struggle to come up with things to say when they are given a loosely-defined writing goal, the simple act of using a creative writing question or journal prompt helps to guide the student and keeps him or her focused on and engaged with the task at hand.
Consider these four key benefits to using creative writing questions in your classroom:
1. Students Don’t Waste Time Feeling “Stuck” or “Uninspired”
With a guiding question, students can simply dive right into their writing instead of wasting time feeling “stuck” or “uninspired” as to what they should say. Creative writing questions can be as specific or as open-ended as you and your students like. Many teachers start out with simple topics and specific questions as their students become acclimated to writing and later branch out into more general and creative topics that promote open thinking.
2. Kids Will Consider New Ways of Looking at Old Topics
Another important benefit of creative writing questions is their ability to get kids thinking about familiar topics from alternate viewpoints. In our modern world filled with divisive political discourse, the power to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is an especially important skill for kids to develop. Journal prompts that ask students to think about a topic from the opposing side’s viewpoint or to imagine what life might be like for people with different experiences are a powerful tool that can dramatically change a child’s perspective.
3. Creativity and Imagination Get a Helpful Boost
Some of our favorite creative writing questions are those that are silly, fun, or completely imaginative and make-believe—as they prompt students to connect with their creative sides and to be as free and inventive as they desire. Whether a student is writing about a fictional world where humans are the ones living in zoos or drafting a creative story about his or her future life as an award-winning scientist, creative writing questions give kids plenty of room to explore their wildest thoughts and dreams.
4. Having a Safe Space to Reflect Allows Kids to Get to Know Themselves Better
Finally, creative writing questions are also a fantastic tool to help students practice the art of self-reflection and become more introspective. As a child grows older, his or her sense of self becomes more defined and articulated. Creative writing questions that ask a student to reflect upon his or her truest qualities and traits are a great way to help kids get to know themselves better and to become more confident in who they really are.