how much creativity

This board is for discussion of Classical Writing - Aesop. CW Aesop teaches writing through rewriting of shorter stories, like fables.

how much creativity

Postby Abasener » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:46 am

I am wondering how creativite I should let my children get in their writing projects. My older daughter is a gifted writer and she is very creative. She always likes to add a fun little spin to the story. For instance, in The Gingerbread Man, she told the story of the gingerbread man in a city and he ran into alley cats and stray dogs. And instead of saying "I can out run you" she had him saying "I know the city better than you". It was a good story but it wasn't an exact copy of the plot of the model. Also, my son is following her example and is changing the setting and adding characters. They do write nice stories with the assigned elements (dialogue, strong verbs, etc.). Should I reign in their creativity or allow it as long as the required elements don't suffer?

Re: how much creativity

Postby admin » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:19 pm

No, please don't stop their creativity. What you should do is teach them to make sure they know exactly what the assignment is, and to make sure that they do complete all the work that is asked for in the assignment. A good student first of all knows how to answer the assignment and do it correctly. If he has surplus energy, creativity, drive and so forth, he can then do much more, to the benefit of both himself and his teacher who gets to enjoy reading it.

The way to do this (and I drive my students batty with this) is I ALWAYS insist (in math, in Latin, in language arts) that the student read and reiterate the assignment to me so that I KNOW that he KNOWS exactly what he is supposed to do. (This is good training for the real work world too).

So my only warning is that they should know how to follow the rules... and then they can add what they want.

I once wrote what I thought was a fun and creative essay for college ... my friends and family loved it, but I only got a C... why? I didn't read the essay prompt carefully enough, and hence didn't really answer the question. And no matter how good the work, if the assignment has not been completed, even a good student will get 'slammed' in college.

I hope that helps.

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