This week’s blog post is a guest spot from writer and teacher Michelle Moloney King, who takes us through a typical class with sixth-class pupils.
In the English curriculum, creative writing is under the strand of Emotional and imaginative development through language – developing emotional and imaginative life through writing. Kinda tricky to achieve when you’re faced with a 6th class of 35 kids.
No wonder I put in 20 hours’ prep for ever five hours I teach.
My lessons are broken down into three parts: intro, development of learning and conclusion.
Introduction (10 mins)
When you have to compete with the instant gratification of mobile phones, computer games etc., you need a strong hook. I reel ‘em in with the technology they love.
I show them PowerPoint slides with pictures or a short movie clip and ask them questions about the people featured in each clip, who they are and what’s happening to them. After I’ve shown them the picture or video, they discuss it in pairs using the five Ws: when, where, what, who and why. I’ll go round the room to check what they’re saying and help if needed. Afterwards, I bring them together and ask them to share their partner’s opinions to check that they’re listening.
Development (20 mins)
Now I’ve captured their interest, I ask them to take out their English copies and awrite down the date, the title “creative writing, draft 1,” and the 5 W’s. They think of a title for the picture they have chosen and write words associated with the picture. Three of them share their thoughts with the class. We have a discussion about what makes a good story adn then they write a story with a beginning, a middle and an end.
Conclusion (7 mins)
It’s time to get them excited about their next lesson. I tell them that their story will be put into a book, a class blog or a website. I also build a mood of anticipation for their next class, explaining that they’ll be learning how to make their stories better and preparing them for publication. Best of all, everyone gets a chance to sit in the teacher’s seat and share their story with the class. They’ll be showered with praise.
About the Blogger
Michelle Moloney King grew up on a farm in Co. Tipperary. Her lullabies were tales about banshees and fairy forts from her banjo playing father. His last words to her were, ‘You won’t remember me, you’re too young.” She started penning down his stories and thus began her creative writing. She has a Bachelor of Science in IT with University of Limerick and recently completed a Post Grad in Primary School Teaching with Hibernia College.
She started a blog in April 2011 and shares stories about teaching, the IFSC, creative writing, flash fiction, ICT, art and much more.