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Creative Writing‏‎ Activity

A weird looking paper animal.Creative Writing is all about using imagination. Often, however, if you ask your students to write about their holidays, or what they did at the weekend, they will spend too long trying to think about what to write and decide there’s nothing to say so will produce a boring essay.

Instead, here’s a simple activity which is designed to inspire your students to come up with something original and interesting.


One by one, put onto your desk a selection of random objects. As each one is added to the pile, get the students to tell you what it is and what it might be used for – and be sure to get them to use their imaginations here!

For example, suppose you put an empty orange juice carton on the desk. See if you can’t elicit some random ideas on what you can use it for:

  • carrying water
  • propping open a door
  • making a lampshade
  • a protective cover for a man who’s just had his hand cut off
  • with the bottom cut off, a funnel

Remember that: the stranger the idea, the better. You want to get your students into the frame of mind where they use their imaginations to the limit!

After you have finished get the students into pairs or small groups and then ask them to come up with a story which links all the items on your desk. Go around to help in this stage.

The final writing part of the exercise is set for homework. Each student goes away and writes their own story.

Notes & Variations

  • This can be combined with Kim’s Game where you show your class a selection of items for a few moments and then they have to write down all they can remember.Make sure the items you use are tailored to your class; this activity can be used with advanced classes or specialized classes (Business English‏‎, for example), if the items you select are focused.
  • Image © Urban Woodswalker

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