How Can Schools Develop Imagination? – UKEdChat homework

As those who are regular readers of this blog or follow me on twitter know, I run the 100 Word Challenge. This is a weekly creative writing challenge where children are given a prompt of part of a sentence, a few individual words or a picture and then have 100 words only to write a creative piece. They are posted on the class blog then linked here where other children can comment and give some constructive advice for improvement.
It has been a wonderful experience and I have been very privileged to read some excellent writing. However, no matter how hard I try, quite a large number of children will always revert to vampires, blood and gore! One picture was of an elephant smiling as it washed itself under a waterfall. When I set it, I imagined lots of laughter and a chance for children to try out some humour. Instead I got hunters capturing the poor creature and killing it. The writing included very graphic descriptions so as pieces of writing they would be judged as good.
I started a conversation on Twitter about it and generally it was agreed that as violence was the menu that many children have away from school in the form of TV, DVDs and games, that is what they know and will write about.
With this in mind, I would like to look at how schools can influence this diet. How can we build children’s imaginations so that they have more to choose from for their writing? I’m sure there is a place for violence in their writing but it is a very meager dish to always feed from.
This item from BBC news may whet your appetite ‘Reading to Children’
UKEdChat on Thursday 17th November will look at this topic. Do come along and join me from 8pm on Twitter!

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