Helping Students Write a Creative Story
Once students have become familiar with the basics of English and have begun communicating, writing can help open up new avenues of expression. These first steps are often difficult as students struggle to combine simple sentences into more complex structures. This guided writing lesson is intended to help bridge the gap from simply writing sentences to developing a larger structure. During the course of the lesson students become familiar with the sentence connectors 'so' and 'because'.
Aim: Guided Writing - learning to use the sentence connectors 'so' and 'because'
Activity: Sentence combination exercise followed by guided writing exercise
Level: lower intermediate
- Write a sentence with 'so' and a sentence with 'because' on the board: Example: We needed some food so I went to the supermarket. | He studied all night because he had a difficult test the next day.
- Ask students which sentence expresses a reason (because) and which sentence expresses a consequence (so).
- Now, write these variations of the sentences on the board: Example: I went to the supermarket because we needed some food. | He had a difficult test so he studied all night.
- Ask students to explain what has changed in the sentences. Check the students understanding of the differences between 'so' and 'because'.
- Give the students the sentence matching exercise. Students should match the two sentences that logically go together.
- Once students have completed this exercise, ask them to combine the two sentences in each pair using 'so' or 'because'. Check their answers as a class.
- Read the example story to the class as a listening exercise which also sets the tone for the follow-up exercise. Ask students some comprehension questions based on the story.
A young Swedish man named Lars met a beautiful young French woman named Lise. They met in a cafe in Amsterdam during the afternoon. As soon as Lars saw Lise, he fell hopelessly in love because she was so beautiful and sophisticated. He wanted to meet her, so he introduced himself and asked her if he could speak to her. Soon, they were talking about their two countries and having a wonderful time. They decided to continue their discussion that evening so they made a date to have dinner in a wonderful restaurant. They continued to see each other every day because they had such a wonderful time together. Five months later, Lars moved to France and they married and lived happily ever after.
- Have students write a similar story using the guided writing prompts provided on their worksheet. Tell them they should be a creative as possible as that will make their story all the more enjoyable.
- Circulate around the room helping students with their short compositions.
- As a follow-up listening exercise which can be a lot of fun, have students read their stories aloud to the class.
- I had to get up early.
- I'm hungry.
- She wants to speak Spanish.
- We needed a vacation.
- They're going to visit us soon.
- I went for a walk.
- Jack won the lottery.
- They bought a CD.
- I needed some fresh air.
- She takes evening courses.
- Their friend had a birthday.
- We went to the seaside.
- I had an early meeting at work.
- He bought a new house.
- We haven't seen them in a long time.
- I'm cooking dinner.
Quickly answer the questions below and then use the information to write your short story. Use your imagination to make the story as enjoyable as possible!
- Which man? (nationality, age)
- Loved who? (nationality, age)
- Where did they meet? (place, when, situation)
- Why did the man fall in love?
- What did he do next?
- What did the two do together that day?
- What did they do after that day?
- Why did they continue to see each other?
- How does the story end? Do they get married, do they separate?
- Is your story a sad or happy story?
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