“Creative writing” is a buzzword that is growing ever more popular among parents these days.
There must be a reason why.
Rather than simply drilling children to write by rote (which is a spectacularly unsuccessful way of teaching), creative writing is a gentle way of stretching children’s imaginations, tapping into their emotions, and building their confidence as natural writers.
On a more practical note, creative writing aligns with MOE’s Strategies for English Language Learning And Reading (STELLAR) approach to teaching English.
What is the primary school STELLAR approach to teaching English?
If you are holding on to memories of how English lessons were conducted in your generation, you may be surprised to hear how different they have become. Gone are the days when students could memorise stock phrases to churn out a composition; instead, our children have to learn to craft their own content and apply their understanding of a variety of visual and textual sources.
By using unexpected real-world materials such as advertisements, brochures and websites, children learn to see things from different viewpoints and step out of their comfort zones. In fact, MOE’s English curriculum seeks to “develop pupils’ critical thinking, imagination and enjoyment of writing and representing, by helping them observe and process the different ways in which language is used in a variety of print and non-print sources to convey meaning and affect readers’ thoughts and feelings.”
The STELLAR programme, therefore, encourages creativity to abound. Studies have shown that students on the STELLAR programme score significantly higher in areas such as speaking and reading. Furthermore, the STELLAR programme has been crafted around the sincere belief that the child’s enjoyment is a fundamental aspect of shared reading and writing experiences.
How then can creative writing classes complement the primary school English curriculum?
Creative writing classes for kids like the MindChamps Writing Programme neatly dovetail with the STELLAR approach by honing a child’s creativity and thinking skills so that they can excel in the academic setting. In a typical creative writing class, students are provided with unique and interesting writing stimuli, and are reminded that the writing process is one that can be joyful and engaging, rather than the dry drills of their parents’ childhood.
Creative writing classes benefit our kids by infusing learning with exciting new strategies, based on professional writing techniques tailored to younger children. In these lessons, for example, your children may invent recipes, draw comic strips or create word maps about a particular topic.
Creative writing classes help primary school kids to cope with English lessons
Contrary to what you might think, creative writing classes do not only help with the skill of writing – in fact, they also serve to sharpen grammar and build the vocabulary bank as they learn to describe things more accurately and more vividly.
The children’s phonemic awareness also benefits, as they grow familiar with more words and develop a sense of the sounds and words while writing. With more and more practice, your child will grow increasingly fluent in the language, and be able to read and write fluidly and comfortably, without hesitation or confusion.
With the use of questioning techniques during these creative writing classes, children are prodded to develop their ideas and storylines while responding to what they have read or seen. Through sharing stories, poems, songs and ideas verbally, your children will begin to internalise the way language is constructed, relating them to prior knowledge of what they have read.
Written by JoBeth Williams
Are you interested to learn more about how creative writing can give your child a headstart in English?
Book a complimentary literacy assessment with MindChamps today to assess your child’s reading and writing ability, and see how our MindChamps Creative Writing Programme can benefit your child.