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Help students build creative writing skills via a project where they create a street name! Have students create a unique street name and describe what their life there would be like. This activity will be fun for students and it will help them hone their descriptive writing skills. This skill is very valuable for the creative writing segment on standardized tests.
Start the project by asking the class if students have ever seen any unusual street names. Then discuss the names they present. Take a few minutes to also brainstorm some unusual street names together as a class and discuss what students think life would be like on that street. Pick a few exotic locations in the world and ask students to come up with some street names for the country. Give them examples like Cleopatra Lane for Egypt, or Koala Drive for Australia. Give students enough time creating street names as a class so they feel comfortable moving ahead to create their own street name based on their life experiences.
Next give students time on the computers to visit sites about the country where they will name a street. They may view websites to get ideas about life in the country. They may also look at the dictionary sites to find unusual words they may want to use as part of the street name they pick.
Then have students sit in groups to work on this project. Give them each a piece of poster board and ask them to list the name of the street and ten ideas about what life on the street would be like. If they wish they may also draw a picture of the street or the street sign. After the project is completed the student work will be hung on a bulletin board.
Give students some ideas to brainstorm street names. Tell them to create street names that link to these topics or one of their choice:
A favorite flower (example Magnolia Street)
A favorite city (example Miami Boulevard)
A favorite restaurant (example Taco Place)
A favorite hobby (example Reading Avenue)
A spot in family history (example London Avenue)
A vacation spot (Jamaica Avenue)
Encourage students to think about spots that have significance to them. A street could be named after almost any thing or any place. Use a street name that brings forth imagery when someone hears it. For example upon hearing Magnolia street images come to mind of the sweet scent of magnolias and warm summer days.
When the students describe life on the street they should be creative and portray the unusual and the exotic not the mundane everyday life. Tell students to be imaginative and that their project will be grades on the uniqueness of their ideas and their creative writing skill.
Also inform the class that their homework assignment will be to write the introduction paragraph for a short story that will be set on the street they created. Instruct them to introduce the protagonist of the story in the first paragraph.
Students enjoy this project and are delighted to see their work incorporated into a display in the classroom.