Unit 1: The Importance of Creative Writing: What is World-Building?

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Unit 1: The Importance of Creative Writing: What is World-Building?

Lesson 1: Creative Writing and Teacher Education - Why creative writing is important and the gap in creative writing pedagogy

Objective: Participants will recognize how adding world building elements to a lesson plan adds depth and texture to a normal creative writing lesson by reading online sources found by the course administrator.


Overview: Welcome to the course “Creative Writing in the Modern Classroom”! During this course, you will be investigating the importance of creative writing, how to use “world-building” elements to engage students and enrich your lesson plans, and will finish up the course with a final project of editing or creating a lesson plan with creative writing and “world-building” elements. During this Unit we’re going to create an informal journal of resources and ideas. Follow this link to go to a Google Doc outline that has been created with prompts and questions to help guide your thoughts as we progress through the first unit of the mini-course. At the top of the page, add this file to your Google Drive, and after navigating back to Google Drive, right click the file and make a copy for yourself to edit. This will allow you to change headings, add in your own information, and copy and paste links for future reference in a way that will not affect the work of others.


Project 1:

Let’s do some research on why creative writing is important. Watch the following TedTalk by Anthony Lishak, an author and a host of over 2000 creative writing workshops in schools. https://youtu.be/nwjxDtVeibk?t=181 Watch this video through fully, then go into your Unit 1 Journal and log your ideas about what this prominent writer has to say on creative writing and the importance of it in modern education.

Project 2:

If your interest piqued while you were listening to Lishak, you are taking the right course. In order to highlight the barriers you face when it comes to including creative writing in your curriculum, go into your Unit 1 Journal and make a list of the things that stop you from introducing creative writing.

Is your list short? Is it long? Does it include not feeling supported by your district, or by the state-mandated curriculum? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re not alone. Over 25 teachers were surveyed in the creation of this mini-course and all had responses that echoed yours. If creative writing is important, why are the gaps in modern pedagogy?

As Sir Ken Robinson says in his TedTalk “Do schools kill creativity?” (https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms/up-next) that now has over 57 million views, our education system was created in a time when America needed factory workers. This system hasn’t truly changed since then. All the students that came out of primary education needed to be able to think and act and create in roughly the same way. Modern pedagogy is slowly making way for the 21st century skills students now need that ask them to create, elaborate, and synthesize.


Lesson 2: Student Engagement and “World-Building” - The importance of student engagement and how world-building elements help students become engaged


Lesson 3: The Importance of “Believable Worlds” - What is “world-building” and the importance of “believable worlds”