Be original, but follow the rules

How can we best teach children both to follow the rules of English, and be creative at the same time?

Creativity is one of those issues which on the one hand appears simple, but on the other is actually rather complicated.  For creativity is not primarily about being original, but rather is about being original in a way that others find interesting, stimulating or in some other way helpful.

As a result, there can be little doubt that most children – and indeed many of their parents – have difficulty in understanding what creativity actually means when they first come across the notion of “creative writing”.

Indeed, creativity can seem to be the opposite of what much schooling – and indeed life in general – is about, for children.  For here we have a situation in which novelty is valued, while the well-established virtue of getting the right answer is removed.

One way of exploring this unknown territory is via the use of open-ended ideas, which allow children to make their own decisions about how their stories unfold.  This in turn makes them feel that these are their own stories, and encourages the freedom of thought that creativity requires.

Indeed, where the results of the creative writing can be welcomed and praised, this will give ever more confidence in working in the complex world of being original while keeping within rules and boundaries.

For the fact is that there is little that is more motivating to a child than a story that the child has written and which can be praised both for its originality and the way it is composed.

In this way, the exploration of creative writing itself boosts self-confidence – and it can particularly give encouragement to children who are full of ideas, but who have difficulty in mastering all the rules behind the written language.

It is to help children improve their creative writing, while also aiding their understanding of the rules that govern the written language that the “Boost Creative Writing” series has been developed.

You will find full details of the Boost Creative Writing Series Pack on our website.

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