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Summer Images as Writing Prompts: Creative Writing Lesson

written by: Julia Bodeeb • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 4/5/2012

Show students art depicting scenes of summer to enliven the class and inspire them to create a short story based on details in the artwork. Use these teaching resources for creative writing to inspire your class!

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    Photos or paintings of summer scenes bring a lot of joy to students and help stimulate their urge to do creative writing too. Using a slide show or prints of scenes of flowers, nature, summer sunrises or sunsets, images of the beach and other scenes from summer enervate the class and get students excited about writing.

    Present a Slide Show of Art or Give Out Art Prints

    Start this creative writing lesson with a slide show or handouts of art. Pause frequently as students view the art to discuss the words that come to mind while observing the art. Ask several students to discuss the feeling the art brings out in them.

    Write a Quick Introduction to a Scene

    When a particular image evokes a lot of response, stop there and ask the class to visualize a scene for a story taking place in that setting. Ask them to write one to two sentences to describe the scene. Then ask for volunteers to share their scene ideas with the class.

    List Details from the Artwork

    Keep looking through the artwork with the class; discuss how the photo or painting could be the setting for a scene in a short story. Tell students to make a list of details from the artworks that they could use in the story they will create.

    For example, if the color of a sunrise is interesting to them they could have a room in a character’s home be that color and set an important scene there. Or they could use the type of flower shown in the art as part of a bouquet a character brings someone on a date.

    Tell students to list at least ten details from the various art they viewed that they will somehow incorporate into the story they write.

    Describe Mood the Art Evokes

    They should also list five words of the moods that come to them as they view the art. Some words you could give as examples are:hostile, joyful, calm, and other words to describe moods.

    Discuss Foreshadowing

    Review the concept of foreshadowing with the students. Does any of the art emit a mood that could be used as foreshadowing? For example if a photo depicts a rainy, stormy night the mood could be one of predicting upcoming trouble in someone’s life.

    Write a Story Introduction

    Once students have had adequate time to view the art, ask them to start writing the introduction to a story inspired by some aspect of the art. They should use at least five details from the art in their story to create imagery and similes.

    Ask students are writing circulate the room and give feedback on their story introduction. Also tell students to get a peer review of their story introduction.

    Assign one more class period to writing the short story and obtaining peer review. Then tell students to complete their draft of a five paragraph story for homework.

    Assess student skill on this project by giving a grade for writing skill for the introduction paragraph. Then also give a grade for the final short story. Ensure the students included imagery and similes

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    Sample Images

    Summer flowersSummer gardenSummer farm marketOceanLondonFlowers in bloomOcean viewsSun on flowers