Monday, October 29, 2007

Writing for Maximum Creativity: Think You're Creative? Try This!

Being As Creative As Possible
In Colombia or elsewhere, if you're teaching English as a foreign or second language you're going to have to be as creative as possible. For EFL teaching or learning, try these creative writing activities to give your class room sessions a true boost.

Re-Tell a Tale

An online survey was done to determine the most popular fairy tales of all time. You’re familiar with all the winners. They’re some of your and my favorites.

Showing Some Creativity

But let’s show some creativity shall we? How about a few twists in the plots to make the story less predictable? How about a unique twist or change in the ending, characters, intent, personality or plot? It’s been done before. For example, “Little Red Riding Hood, first published in 1697 by Charles Perrault as a warning to errant ladies in the court of Louis XIV, has undergone a series of metamorphoses including one by the Grimm Brothers in 1812, before arriving at its present-day version. So pick one, two or more, put your thinking (and writer) cap on, free your muse and allow your creativity full reign. Why should H.C. Anderson, Mother G., that Barrie fellow and those Grimm brothers have all the fun?

Little Red Riding Hood

Why was “Red” really on the way to Grandma’s? Or was it Grandma’s she was headed for? Who (or what) is the “wolf”? Why’s he set on “Red”? What really going on? Tell me why she couldn’t tell the difference between Grandma and the wolf – at 100 yards? Let the lion (or wolf) tamer out. Is “Red” an animal lover? Is she a “fox”? If so, what happens when “foxy” Red Riding Hood meets wolfie? What, pray tell, do we do about the wolf? You’re not gonna, (gulp!) KILL him are you? The SPCA might give you a problem about that.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Hey, what was “Goldie” doing in the woods anyway? And by herself too? Where did the bear family go? Excuse me, but the last time I checked, bears don’t eat porridge! So anyway, what DO you do with an intruder you catch in your house who’s already trashed the place? How about a quirky, fun or humorous ending here? Is it add-a-player time? Feeling peckish? There’s still some porridge left.

The Three Little Pigs

Give me a break! Pigs don’t live in houses, they live in a sty. Have you ever smelled one of those? I’m telling you – it’ll put you off ham and pork chops forever. Anyway, how come wolfie doesn’t wise up? Have you seen the commercial where he shows up at house number three with a bulldozer? By the way, is this wolf the same one who’s been bugging that red-headed girl? Didn’t we get rid of that hairy bugger in another story? Maybe he’s twins or another family member has dropped in? Well anyhow, YOU figure it out. I’m going to go have some porridge – oops! Wrong story. Sorry.

Peter Pan

Doesn’t anybody have a problem with a kid who doesn’t ever get out of the sixth grade? Why don’t they kill that crocodile? (Didn’t anybody see “Jaws”?) If you can fly, why stay on an island? Paris in the spring is nice, but in winter it’s the pits. That’s when I’d try Buenos Aires. How and what do those “boys” eat? And if Wendy’s the only girl around all those “lost boys”, I can see some problems coming up. What would happen if Peter took a wrong turn and wound up in Kabul, Amsterdam or the south Bronx? Yikes!

... to be continued in the next post ...

Larry M. Lynch is an English language teaching and learning expert author and university professor in Cali, Colombia. Now YOU too can live your dreams in paradise, find romance, high adventure and get paid while travelling for free. For more information on the lucrative, fascinating field of teaching English as a Foreign Language, get your copy of his no-cost, full multi-media, hypertext-linked pdf ebook, “If You Want to Teach English Abroad, Here’s What You Need to Know” by sending an e-mail with "free ELT Ebook" in the subject line.

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