The English Teacher

Teaching Imaginative Writing

This 'unit' was the result of the need to teach imaginative writing for a State test. Imaginative writing was one of five categories that the students might be assigned at random. I soon realized the futility of telling the students to write imaginatively since some of them didn't know what I meant and hadn't written imaginatively, that they could remember. As is mentioned in the Teaching Strategies page, when a teacher wants a class or student to behave a certain way, then conditions need to be arranged to elicit that behavior. Teaching writing skills can be viewed in the same manner. The following prompts cause the student to write in an imaginative way. The teacher may have to adapt the prompts to their area and culture.

Imaginative Writing Prompts

1. Your boyfriend/girlfriend, who is very jealous, volunteers for a clone experiment. It succeeds, and now there are two of them, exactly the same. What happens?

2. Three men wearing strange hats follow you and your girlfriend/boyfriend during a school trip. It turns out that your friend is an alien with amnesia, and can't remember a thing. What happens?

3. Frosty the Snowman asks you to smuggle him into your neighbor's seldom used meat locker during the warm weather. What do you do?

4. When you drink three bottles of Classic ______ and take two ________, green algae begins growing on your face. The doctors say they can do nothing. How do you cope?

5. You are at a state park watching a huge motor home pull away. Then you spot a huge purse that the driver dropped as she got in. What happens next?

6. As you are going to visit your dentist in a tall office building, the crowded elevator gets jammed between the floors. Several doctors' patients with serious problems are also there. The elevator may not be fixed quickly. What happens?

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