Creativity in the Classroom
Basic Skills
With thanks to Pie Corbett
Dominic Davis ECaW
Creativity in the Classroom
• Alphabet game – say a word beginning
with ‘A’, next person says a word
beginning with ‘B’, etc.
• Say a word and make a sentence –
CRISP – Charlie reads individual stories
• Explode a word – Rhyming words, first
letter patterns, synonyms, name it, art,
facts, memories.
Dominic Davis ECaW
• Crossing the river
• 10 things to do with a…crescent moon – a
smile, bridge, skipping rope, etc.
• Innovate on a sign – On discovery of a fire
press alarm – on discovery of a donkey
give a carrot.
(Jumpstart books by Pie Corbett)
Dominic Davis ECaW
Basic Skills
Exercise grammar rather than grammar
• Connective Game – CT starts a story and then
hold up a connective card – child suggests next
event – then CT carries on the story – hold up a
connective card, etc.
• Gita ran home because…she wanted to see the
cat – She wanted to see the cat because it was
fluffy – It was fluffy because…
Dominic Davis ECaW
• Make a sentence – give one word (dog),
or two (shark jelly) or three (zebra
humbug because) – write a sentence
with these words.
• Boring sentences to improve – The cat
went along the wall.
• Sentence doctor – He runned down the
lain the men was behind him.
Dominic Davis ECaW
• Finish – give them a fragment to finish –
The old king…..
……..and laughed.
……across the lake because……
• Join – The cart stopped. The hobbit got
down. (Connective either in the middle, or
at the beginning)
• Compare – show sentences or paragraphs
– put them in order worst to best.
Dominic Davis ECaW
• Make a speech sandwich –
Speech – how is it said? – what are they doing?
Listener action – add any background
information – listener replies.
“My singers are by far the best,” said Simon
smugly as he smiled at the camera.
Louis laughed, knowing what Simon was like.
“You are lucky that Jedward have been voted
off,” he replied sarcastically.
Dominic Davis ECaW
• Drop in – adjectives, adverbs, clauses –
Brian drove his car to Bradford.
Brian drove his shiny car to Bradford.
Brian carefully drove his car to Bradford.
Brian, who was tired, drove his car to
Brian, chewing a toffee, drove…
Brian, disgusted by his family, drove…
Dominic Davis ECaW
• Which one? wos woz was waz
• Picture it – because – look at it – chant it – move
to it – write it – look at own writing – check!
• Speedwrite – how many times can you write a
word in 30 seconds?
• Shannon’s game – like hangman but without the
execution – give first sound to encourage
thinking of spelling patterns.
• Rhyme it – train, wheel, bone, light, soap, etc.
Dominic Davis ECaW
Creative Poetry
• Use poetry as a vehicle for narrative.
• Rhyming is very hard – it is much better to
write poems based on our observations or
to play with language.
• List poems can build confidence – start
with a noun, than an adjective, then a verb
and off we go!
Dominic Davis ECaW
Playing with Language
In this magical bag I found…
I dreamed…
In the clouds I saw…
Through the window I saw…
I wish I was…
Dominic Davis ECaW
I want to paint…
A clapped out cockroach coughing
A confusing clock as quiet as a corpse
Dominic Davis ECaW
Dominic Davis ECaW
Dominic Davis ECaW
The bare branch reaches out like lightning
Tangled trees tremble
Silent snow suffocates
Mist shrouds the valley
In the distance the hills wait patiently
Dominic Davis ECaW
…as a vehicle for narrative
Horatio looked around the clearing. A bare
branch reached out from a tree like
lightning. Tangled trees trembled as the
silent snow suffocated everything around
him. Mist shrouded the valley and in the
distance the hills waited patiently,
Dominic Davis ECaW
Shared Writing
• We need to teach them to write! And write
• Put up an image – carry out a short shared
writing session, then give them some time
to write their own.
• Never waste a good idea – magpie from
authors, the teacher, each other.
Dominic Davis ECaW
• Cautiously, Horatio crept into the darkened
chamber. Drab curtains twitched…was
something hiding there? Horatio held his
breath. Splintered moonlight pierced the
silent shadows. Behind him, a clock beat
to the rhythm of his thudding heart.
• What have we taught? Alliteration,
suspense, empty words, pulling the reader
in, describing sounds, etc.
Dominic Davis ECaW
• Flabbergasted, Horatio stared out at the
ruined city. Towering skyscrapers leaned
like a tiger’s broken teeth…what had
caused this carnage? Horatio shivered
with fear. An ancient sun disappeared
over the desperate horizon. In the
distance, drums were beating in time with
Horatio’s racing heart.
Dominic Davis ECaW
Shared Writing Checklist
• Generate lots of ideas – the first idea is not always the
• Do lots!
• Talk about it – articulate the process
• Make it fun
• Keep rereading it to test if it works
• Magpie
• Value everyone’s ideas but do not accept everything
• Have an effective stimulus
• Do enough (paragraph)
• Pace
Dominic Davis ECaW
What next?
• Try out some of the creative
games/activities with your class.
• Use your basic skills sessions to explore
the word and sentence activities (2 or 3
days a week) and for short shared
writing/creative writing activities (2 or 3
days a week).
Dominic Davis ECaW