Encourage Creativity

Gallery Walk
Using a large sheet of paper, have pairs of students write a brief story with a cliffhanger ending. The story is then illustrated and hung on the wall with a blank sheet next to it. There should be multiple stories around the classroom. Have the students travel in a circle around the room in pairs to write a unique last sentence on each story, finally returning to see what endings were written for their own story. It may be helpful to play music to prompt them to move on to the next station.

Calligrammes
A “calligramme” is a poem written in such a way that it becomes a visual representation of the poem’s subject. For example, if you write about an apple, your lines will be be shaped to look like an apple. The French poet Guillaume Apollinaire created this portmanteau word by merging “calligraphie” (handwriting) and “ideogramme” (picture). Examples of Apollinaire’s calligrammes can be found here: http://www.guillaume-apollinaire.fr/calligrammes.htm. Teacher can model some calligrammes, some simple and others complex. Then students can use their imagination to create their own. Poems may follow given patterns and rhymes, or may be totally free form. They can be displayed around the classroom. 



Songwriter
In pairs or small groups, students are asked to write a tune to a familiar song such as Frère Jacques or Blue Moon. This activity works well for writing songs to review grammar and vocabulary for an upcoming test or to simply narrate events from the weekend. When completed, encourage students to perform their song to the class, have class sing-alongs, or make a music video.

An example song:

Sung to tune of Frère Jacques.

WRITE at ACTFL
WRITE at ACTFL
Five strategies
Five strategies
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We hope you find this useful
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Let's move on


Greetings
Students learning a second/other language often want to know what to say if a friend or classmate has a birthday, is ill, is graduating, lost a family member, etc. First, teach students culturally appropriate expressions for a variety of situations like: happy birthday, in deepest sympathy, congratulations, etc. (You may also want to teach them anything culturally inappropriate.) Then, ask students to choose a type of greeting card that they would like to make. They should then design the card with photos, clip art, colors, etc. and add appropriate expressions. The students should share the finished greeting cards with the class.