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Creative Writing with Photo Inspiration Essay

Objective: To encourage students to think and write creatively with inspiration from photos. Materials: • one photo portrait for every 5-10 students in the class • tape or thumbtacks • stopwatch or timer • pencils • paper Directions: 1. Print out the photo portraits that are provided below. Tape the photos around your classroom at your students’ eye level. If possible, use opposite sides of the room so your students have room to spread out. For a larger class, print more DK images by logging onto http://www.teachervision.fen.com/teacher-resources/clip_art_image/61542.html, or cutting pictures from magazines. 2. Divide your class into as many groups as there are images on the wall, and assign each group to a photo. 3. Using your stopwatch, give students two minutes to study their group’s photo. Ask them to focus on the faces of the subjects and think about the subject’s emotions, family, job, and lifestyle. 4. Tell them they will now write a story, poem, or character analysis (whatever is appropriate for your students and curriculum) using the person pictured in the photo as inspiration. Allow them to be creative and write about whatever comes to mind after studying the photo. Encourage them to use all five senses. Tell them not to worry about spelling and grammar at this point; they should be continuously writing, not editing. Give them at least 10 minutes to free-write silently, but provide them with as much time as your schedule allows. 5. When time is up, ask a few students to share what they have written. Emphasize that you’re looking for creativity, not perfection. 6. For homework, have your students finish what they have written in class, edit it for spelling and grammatical errors, and return it to you for a grade.

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