This year, Blossom introduced a revamped English Creative Writing enrichment programme, conducted by our own teachers. The programme which focuses on four main areas: Storytelling techniques, Sentence building, Introduction to writing techniques and Poetry, uses mainly storybooks of various genres to nurture children’s interest in literacy.
Through stories and various follow up activities, the English Creative Writing enrichment programme aims to develop children’s thinking process and emergent writing skills. Storybooks are used mainly as a guide to introduce a particular concept to the children. Examples: A story that contains dialogue text is used to introduce writing in dialogue form or as an introduction to simple letter writing techniques, we use a story about communicating through letters etc. Opening a lesson with a story puts children at ease and allow them to understand something concrete before going on to the related abstract concept.
A typical storytelling activity in an English Creative Writing class would begin with the teacher introducing a particular book which relates to a concept or learning objective for that week. Stories provide depth to a concept, stimulate children’s thinking and imagination and allow them to express their ideas from different perspectives. With encouragement from teachers, it further prompts them to look at things from many different perspectives.
The same story can be used across different age groups, with changes made to the learning objectives to make them age appropriate. For example, at the N2 level the children are expected to verbally relate parts of the story. The learning objective at the K1 level requires the children to relate the story in the correct sequence and at the K2 level the children are expected to exercise their creativity and imagination and perhaps, think of a different and their very own original ending to the story!
Next part comes the writing. The writing skills taught each term will increase in complexity from N2 to K2, with the children developing from the pre-writing stage to independent writing stage. To further develop their writing skills and give the children more exposure to various forms of writing practices and techniques, our objectives begin with picture sequencing and picture talk activities in N2 to story and poetry writing in Kindergarten 2.
Over the past three terms since English Creative Writing enrichment was introduced into Blossom’s curriculum, we have noticed that children are able to recall, relate and link their thoughts to the stories introduced in class. Indeed, getting creative with words by introducing writing through lively, interactive and enjoyable lessons and stories help ignite children’s interest, create vivid mental images and activates their thinking processes!