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  • Writer's pictureThe Teacher Tool Belt

5 Tips to Make Creative Writing Pop in the Classroom

Updated: Jan 17, 2019

Getting students to write a story so that the reader feels as though they’re in it is a difficult task. Sure, it’s a journey where students grow in their writing abilities over the years. But introducing them to the following concepts doesn’t have to be at the end of the journey. They can start right away. Encourage your young writers to use these elements in their creative writing and their stories will pop to a whole new level—even when they’re just starting out.

1. Use active verbs

When writing, take action rather than meandering around the sentence. By using active verbs, you put the reader in the story right away. So many times, I see students write sentences like:

The girl was running across the yard.

Cut the unnecessary words and get to the point:

The girl ran across the yard.

The active voice is more concise and shows what’s happening.

2. Show, Don’t Tell

I know as teachers we want students to be descriptive. That’s great. But too much description in the wrong way can be distracting and still not help the reader visualize what’s going on in the story. For example, which of these is better:

The girl wearing the pale blue dress was running across the green grass.


Sally’s dress tickled her kneecaps as she ran across the lawn. She sneezed as the scent of freshly cut grass hit her nose.

Showing takes more words and time, but it’s so worth it. The reader will be drawn in right away and not want to put the story down.

3. Use all the senses

The most commonly used descriptions rely on what we see. Sure, we want to establish what the characters see, but to build a truly 3-dimensional story world, you need more than that. Encourage your students to include all five senses throughout their story. Anchor charts are a great way to brainstorm the possibilities. Or try using a tab foldable to brainstorm instead:

If graphic organizers are your favorite, Popcorn Brainstorming is a fun way to practice including all the five senses. Grab your FREE copy when you sign up here. Students will have love making their writing pop with this!

4. More words doesn’t equal better

Choose your words wisely. Do the words you wrote right really have to be there? Or are they merely filling up space on the page? Cutting unnecessary words can be a great way to improve the story. Or, you can try changing them to more interesting word choices.

5. Check the Details

Revise and Edit. Make sure you’ve double checked your punctuation, grammar, spelling, capitalization, etc. Take the time to do it right. If you’re not sure, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a critique partner or teacher. Having a story that is well written and easy to read will make the reader want to keep reading and not put the pages down.

Ready to inspire your students to make their writing pop? We hope these ideas help! Be sure to check out our other writing resources at our TPT store. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook or Pinterest.


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