In elementary school, writing assignments consisted mainly of creative writing. Most people remember letting their mind roam and writing stories about sea creatures, monsters, and faraway lands. When students get to about 6th grade, most writing assignments are non-fiction. On the off chance that a creative writing assignment is given, most students struggle because they aren’t given the freedom to write creatively in class.
Some teachers believe that creative writing for students is a waste of time and that it is juvenile. However, it does have benefits for students. Creative writing assignments allow students to discover their identity, express themselves artistically, use their imagination, and discover their writing style. Aside from that, students put the most effort into assignments they’re interested in. If they were given the freedom to write creatively, they would be more interested in the assignment and, in turn, succeed.
“[Creative writing] would help us discover our identity and writing style. It channels all of your feelings and emotions,” says 11th grader, Morgan Landreth. As fun as creative writing is, there is more to it than just entertainment. The benefits that it gives students could make a real impact on their daily lives. Giving students time to explore themselves and write what they want would allow them to blow off some steam during the school day, while also improving their writing skills. This could allow them to get a little bit of a break during the school day, which could improve performance in other classes.
With the time they are given, teachers don’t have enough time to cover anything more than what is on the curriculum. This may be a contributing factor as to why creative writing isn’t a priority in classrooms. There are two solutions to this problem. One option is to integrate creative writing into what is being taught in class. For example, teachers can create a creative writing assignment based on the theme of a novel they’re teaching. Another option is a creative writing class, or even a club. Of course the class wouldn’t be a requirement, but students that were interested could request this course.
It is true that creative writing involves more freedom, but that doesn’t mean that students won’t have any guidance. Students’ creative pieces could still be graded and critiqued, just like any academic paper. McKenzie See-Holbrook, a junior here at Forsyth Central, states, “I believe that starting a creative writing program would increase creativity of students and improve their writing skills at the same time.”
There is no reason that creative writing shouldn’t be included in students’ academic lives. The benefits to them are too great, both emotionally and academically. If students were given the opportunity to write creatively, it would make a huge difference in their lives academically and personally.