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My best teaching suggestion is to ask students to instruct and delight. I have my creative writing students share something they've written, something they've read and loved, and tell them to use an audiovisual aid. One student read all of Anais Nin, and then read her own beautiful poetry to us, and told us all about Nin..... Several students brought in Poe last week... and one played the Bart Simpson version of "The Raven" before reading us his own Poe-like poem! and gave out candies (that's the delight....)

A student who could sing teamed up with another student who could play the guitar. They researched Edith Piaf, wrote a sort of creative nonfiction piece about her which they shared with the class, and then performed some of her music, some of their own. Very lovely.

A student brought in a guest speaker as part of his presentation, and it was a Juno-award winning singer named Choclair who performed his rap poetry and music for my students... they loved this. Then, my student shared his own rap poetry with us.

A girl who was interested in dreams came in dressed in sweet pj's and slippers. She brought in tons of books on dreams. She showed us her poetry, written from dreams on an overhead. Then she lit candles and gave each of us little pieces of blue cloud paper, and had us write dreams on them, dreams we'd like to have come true, in the form of little poems. She suggested we tuck these little bits of cloud paper under our pillows that night, and that we watch to see the dreams come true....lovely.

I actually adapt some version of this to all of my courses, not just creative writing. You can adapt it to literature courses or even business communications

From Instruct and Delight: Poetry Workshop Ideas for Teachers
by Malca Litovitz, at

Malca Litovitz's works copyright © to the Malca Litovitz Estate.

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