Unlike technical, academic, and other forms of writing, creative writing fosters imagination and allows students to have a voice. Therefore, it is one of the most effective ways to enhance creativity in the language classroom.

Creative writing helps students express themselves and sometimes serves as an outlet for their deep feelings. For example, through journal writing you can get to know your students much better and connect with them. Giving them journal entries like the ones in this post may be a good idea to start the year. The Soundtrack of Your Life is another great creative writing activity you can try at the beginning of the year to get to know your students and to create a positive classroom climate.


According to Toby Fulwiler,  journal writing is an important way of individualizing instruction and encouraging independent thinking. It also enhances students’ confidence in writing. Therefore, instead of trying to correct their mistakes in their journals, try responding to your students sincerely. While you are doing that, you can use the correct forms of their mistakes in your response to model for them. You can find information, articles, and resources about journaling in Journal Buddies. and Daily Teaching Tools. Make Beliefs Comix also offers interactive digital journals, like  Spark Your Writing or Something to Write About. Make Beliefs is a great site that offers comic strip templates and writing prompts in different languages. It will help your reluctant writers to take a new look at creative writing, so please make sure to check all the resources here.


Using visuals prompts for writing is another activity that enhances creative writing and there are great sites offering resources for that, such as Writing Prompts, Visual Story Prompts, Photo Prompts, and Write About. Students using Write About can either write their story or record it. They can also save their draft to work on it later. Write About offers you to select the creative writing topics among different categories and according to the grade level.

Here is a lesson plan designed for B2+ learners encouraging them to talk and write on picture prompts and in this post you can find some app suggestions for generating prompts and story starters. Both teachers and students can create their own writing prompts by using Piclits where students can find inspiring photos and a list of useful words to spark new ideas. They can write captions, sentences, stories, paragraphs, poems, raps, quotations, lyrics, and more. Students can either drag the words onto the picture to create sentences or hide them if they want to use their own words. According to the site, “The object is to put the right words in the right place and the right order to capture the essence, story, and meaning of the picture.” Before you start assigning picture writing prompts, you can use this lesson by the NY Times Learning Network to teach photo-based writing skills to your students. You can also read this post for more ideas on teaching literacy through photography for English Language Learners.

Build Your Wild Self is a cool tool for young learners to create avatars using different animal parts and attaching them in a human body. Students then can send it to a friend by entering a name and email address, add as a desktop background, or print their wild self. They can write a poem or story about a day in the life of the wild self they created, using the new creature as a writing prompt. This worksheet we prepared for our primary students includes an activity on Build Your Own Self. Most of the templates in this worksheet have been adapted from Twinkle where you can find great resources. The presentation rubric in this worksheet has been taken from Edutopia.


Video writing prompts are as popular as the photo writing prompts. Corn Dog Art offers both video and visual writing prompts to inspire creative writing. Teach Hub is another website where you can find video writing prompts. You can find different writing prompts for different age groups about the same video. Check the video prompts for Finding Nemo, Toy Story, and Hunger Games. Lesson Stream by Jamie Keddie offers a wealth of creative and imaginative lesson plans for young learners and teens based on short videos. Film English, another great site by Kieran Donaghy, does the same based on short films. Here you can see one of my favorites from Kieran’s amazing site. The resources in All at C and Viral ELT can be used with higher level ELT learners.

John Spencer created an inspiring about creating a step-by-step guide on how to become a superhero and here is a collaborative project task we designed for our middle school students using this video.

Storytelling is one of the best ways to inspire creativity in our learners. Check 60 Narrative Story Writing Prompts for Kids by Squarehead Teachers, Boggles Words Creative Writing for ESL Students, and Story Starts. Literacy Shed also has great story starters you can use with students at different levels.


Writing Exercises provides students with writing prompts and exercises to help them get started with creative writing and break through writing blocks. Students can generate random story ideas, plots, subjects, scenarios, characters, first lines for stories and more. They also have a Children’s Section with creative writing prompts for children of primary/elementary school age. Interactive writing games in Fun English Games may help your students improve their writing skills.

Nowadays technology provides students with more engaging ways to practice creative writing. Safestyle’s Secret Door is a very interesting creative writing web page I learned from Özge Karaoğlu. This web page embeds a Google maps street view URL. Step through the secret door and be transported to some of the most fascinating places across the globe. With a click of the button you can travel to the South Pole, China’s Great Wall, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and start writing your story. You click a door that says “Take me somewhere else” and Google Maps Street View shows you another place on the planet.


Primary students enjoy writing short stories using Scholastic Story Starters. There are four story themes for the students to choose: fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, and scrambler. Students pick a theme, enter their names, choose their grades, and spin the big wheels of prompts. They can spin the wheels until they find a prompt they like. After they select the prompts, they start writing their story using one of the four formats the program offers and print them. Another creative tool designed for the primary students is Read Write Think Fractured Fairy Tale Generator. Students can read a sample fractured fairy tale and write their own version of a fractured fairy tale by using this tool.


Book Box is a great website for middle school students to practice creative writing. The Writer’s Toolkit in Book Box is like a step-by-step guide teaching students many aspects of writing. This website puts students in touch with their favorite authors and their books while they are wandering through Secret Passages. Students can find about more than 30 favorite authors and their books and the chance to watch authors read favorite passages on-screen. There are also some literacy games for the students to play.

Wordtamer is another cool site designed for the new generation of the storytellers to help them learn the process of developing characters, setting, and plot in creative writing. It is set up as an interactive journey through a funfair of literary devices. As students move through the funfair they learn how to develop characters, setting, plot for their stories. They can print out what they have written at each step. Students can also watch the videos that will help them understand the roles of characters, settings, and plot development in crafting a good story. The site  offers certificates to students who have completed the training.


100 Word Challenge has been designed for students 16 and under. In this activity students respond to a prompt using not more than 100 words. Writing is posted on a class blog, where responses are invited. The activity encourages regular writing for an authentic audience.

One Word offers a one word prompt and gives the students 60 seconds to start writing. This is a great way to fight writer’s block and make writing a little more fun. Another website you can share with your students who are trying to cope with writer’s block is Telescopic Text. You can also show Telescopic Text as an example to your class of how a short simple sentence can be expanded and continually added to. This tutorial will help you use the writing tools. You can make your own telescopic text here.

Ask your students to write six-word memoirs using this lesson plan, six-word stories, or a six-word book review.

When they are learning letter writing, ask your students to write a letter to their future self by sending a time-capsule email delivered on a day they chose in the future via Future me website.


Some teachers don’t associate creative writing with non-fiction writing. Look at this example and ask your students to rewrite this Learning Enhancing Potion by adding their own ingredients. You can also ask them to prepare Creativity Enhancing potion, write a recipe for friendship or make a video explaining how to make friendship soup. If you are teaching in a 1:1 classroom, your students can use apps like Explain Everything to do these. You can find future news for 2020 and beyond in News of Future. After your students read, analyze, and discuss some of the articles here, ask them to write their own future news articles. A lesson like this one may be a good introduction to this creative writing assignment. Finally, please check this great post about activities and tools that can help students use their creative and critical abilities while learning.

Poetry is another genre your students can practice creative writing. Shelly Terrell offers amazing ideas and resources on teaching poetry in this post. Here is another post by Lisa Nielsen on bringing poetry to life with a cell phone and a Voki. This is a great poem to start teaching poetry to young learners. Giggle Poetry, Poetry by Heart, Poems & Stories 4 Kids, and Poetry4Kids are great websites for primary students to learn about and write poetry through word games and funny poems. Read Write Think offers many lesson plans on poetry for all grades, including interactive media and giving links to other websites focused on teaching poetry creatively. You can find some more resources and ideas to teach poetry in this article.


Some students are great at telling stories but they may have a writer’s block when they are asked to write using pen and paper. Technology helps them express themselves using different multimedia tools. You can find 18 free digital storytelling tools for teachers and students in this post. Technology also helps students improve their collaboration skills. For example, Boomwriter is a collaborative writing tool. Have your class or creative writing club use technology to collaboratively write a real book to enhance their language and creative writing skills using Boomwriter on computers, tablets, and phones. Groups of five students or more can use it to read, write, and get published! Creating an eBook is especially rewarding for language learners as it allows them to combine digital and language skills and come up with something to show to their friends and parents. Moreover, students are more motivated to write, work harder and more willing to revise their work when they share it with a larger audience, not just with their teacher. Therefore, many teachers today are using class blogs to have their students showcase their work and to communicate their voice to a larger audience.


You can find free resources for creative writing and blogging in this toolbox curated by Global Digital Citizen Foundation. While your students are writing their creative pieces, you can use Noisli a background noise and color generator- to create a mood for creative writing.


The C Group that aims to foster creativity for change in language education offers a provisional definition of creativity as: ‘thinking and activity in language education that is novel, valuable, and open-ended, and that helps to enrich learning in our students and ourselves’. Being creative is a must in the language classroom not only because
creativity is an important life skill in the century that we live in, but also because it motivates, inspires, and challenges the learners and increases their engagement. In this post I will try to give some examples that will help the learners think about and use the language creatively.

Before giving your students creative challenges, you can start by brainstorming on what creativity is discussing all aspects from generating original ideas and narrowing them down to not fearing making mistakes. Helen Buckley’s poem, The Little Boy may be a good starting point to do that. Here is a video you can share with your students while you are discussing creativity with them.

You can also share Ken Robinson’s famous TED talk or other TED talks on creativity with your students,

discuss them in the classroom and ask them to prepare a TED-style talk on the significance of creativity.

My favorite website to assign creative tasks to students is The Literacy Shed where you can find a wealth of visual resources together with creative ideas for literacy teaching that you can extend. Creative Educator is another great site by tech4learning where you can find ideas for your Language Arts classes.

Teach with Movies provides teachers with lesson plans and learning guides on movies and film clips. You can also create your own lesson plans for English Language Arts and Literature classes based on the movies. Here is a  project assignment for students who have used Teach with Movies website together with the novels they are reading and here is a blog post on why use film to teach literacy.

Classtools is a free site for teachers created by a teacher. He has created tools for students including timeline tools, diagram makers, hamburger paragraph makers, SMS generators, video games maker, a QR code treasure hunt, and breaking news generator. The Fakebook page is great for character profiles. Ask your students to choose one of the characters in the book they are reading and prepare a Fakebook page for them considering what links and photos they would share, who they would friend, what their updates would look like. You can find the help sheet for Fakebook here.

Russel Tarr, the creator of the Classtools website has also designed Twister, which is a fake tweet generator. Students can create tweets as the characters in the book they are reading or as the author of the book using Twister. This link will take you to his blog where Russel, shares different ways you can use Classtools.  Alternatively, you can use Twiducate, which is a social networking tool for schools. If you need ideas on how to use twitter to teach, check this post and share this guide on Twitter Lingo with your students.

Read Write and Think is another site where you can find several activities to teach creatively. Your students can use the Cube Creator while reading or writing biographies or stories. They can also create their own cube by filling in their own questions and responses to a topic. Read Write Think offers a Profile Publisher that your students can use like Fakebook. You can see an example on how to use it in this project that we gave to our students last year. In this project the students have been asked to prepare a book trailer instead of writing a book report. Book trailers are creative alternatives to traditional book reports.

Sharing the book trailers of your students with the school community is a great way to encourage reading as their friends’ recommendations excite the young readers much more than anybody else’s. You can also ask your students to prepare alternative book covers for the books they have read by designing creative artwork and a compelling blurb. A worksheet like this one may be helpful before you ask them to design their book covers. The students who want to make digital book covers can use the Book Cover Creator by Read Write Think. In this post, Catherine Reed, a creative teacher explains how she built excitement for reading in her class through the augmented reality book talk and the book blurbs her students have created.

This worksheet can be used to foster higher order thinking skills at the end of a novel project. You can also ask your students to rewrite the story they have read by adding themselves as another character or write an alternative ending for it. They can prepare a flyer to describe the setting of the novel they are reading by using Canva, Smore, Tackk, or Lucidpress. Here you can find a series of creative tasks for novel projects prepared by a creative teacher, Caiti Joly. Here is another great post on book talks and literature circles.

If you are teaching letter writing, Read Write Think has a Letter Generator that your students can use. You can ask them to write a letter to one of the characters or to the author of the book they are reading. They can also write a letter as the novel protagonist to an Agony Aunt Column presenting the character’s problems. Students can then swap the letters and write a well-written response as the Agony Aunt.

Talking avatars are great tools for language classes. Visit Web Tools for Kids for different types of avatars, talking pets, postcards, robots. Ask them to choose one of the Talking Avatars from the website and create an Avatar for their blog about the internet safety rules they have learned. They can also create avatars to send New Year messages, postcards to their friends or on other different occasions throughout the year. Introducing yourself to your students and the parents using Voki on your blog or class website may be a nice beginning for the year.

If you are using a textbook, you can ask your students to add several pages to the unit they are studying to make it more student-friendly. If you are studying a topic or a global issue, you and your students can save articles, photos, and videos about it onto Flipboard to create a digital magazine. You can ask your students to work in pairs and prepare questions about the articles in Flipboard. Groups then can swap the questions and answer them. Here is a video on how to use Flipboard in education:

When you are giving these projects make sure to give options to your students to choose. Never assign only one project for one task. Keep some of the projects your students have submitted and share them with your students the following year when you are assigning a similar project so that they have a better picture of your expectations.

For more ideas you can check this post by Matt Miller and this booklet published by the British Council. You can find Nik Peachey’s presentation based on the ideas in this book here:

All these creation-based tasks promote higher order thinking skills, enable students to make connections with their own lives, to construct meaning and to make sense of the world around them. Many of these tasks also encourage collaboration, which is another important skill in the century that we live. While the students are expressing themselves creatively in the language they are learning, they improve their language skills naturally and become more competent users of that language.

What kind of activities do you do in your classes to enable your learners to think about and use the language creatively?