1st Edition

Write Out of the Classroom
How to use the 'real' world to inspire and create amazing writing

ISBN 9780415635295
Published October 9, 2013 by Routledge
236 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations

USD $51.95

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Book Description

Write Out of the Classroom is a ground-breaking, highly practical book which provides teachers and creative writing tutors with great ways of tapping into the huge inspirational and educational potential of the richly diverse world beyond the classroom walls.

Effective learning occurs when the process feels exciting, inspiring and ‘real’, and there is nothing more stimulating and ‘real’ than the real world itself. Working with groups in interesting and evocative settings can generate exceptional participant involvement. Well-led ‘locational brainstorming’ in such places increases vocabulary and produces an astonishing freshness of observation, ideas, language, plot and metaphor. Teachers commonly notice a quantum leap in writing quality arising from these sessions.

Based on the author’s extensive experience in developing and leading out-of-classroom ‘intelligent observation’ and writing workshops, this unique book steers educators through the subtleties of guiding thoughtful data collection sessions in varied environments; selecting appropriate and motivational places and forms of writing, and running sessions linked to specific creative and factual writing tasks.

The book covers the following areas and techniques and how they relate to out-of-classroom work:

  • planning outings and choosing locations;
  • leading language and ideas brainstorm sessions;
  • descriptive poetry inspired by outdoor settings;
  • ‘reflective haikus’, cinquains, and minimalist poetry;
  • creating stunning plots and storylines;
  • collective story writing;
  • fictitious diary forms;
  • descriptive travel writing;
  • understanding poetry’s mechanics and sound patterns;
  • assisting students with editing.

This detailed, practical book also contains examples of remarkable student creative writing produced through these techniques, as well as photocopiable pages which include original examples of specific writing forms to model from, explanatory diagrams, helpful checklists and handy teachers’ ‘crib sheets’.

Write out of the Classroom is the perfect ‘insider's guide’ to teaching and inspiring creative writing. It is an essential tool for classroom teachers in both Primary and Secondary schools, creative writing tutors, literacy co-ordinators and PGCE students, as well as leaders in residential centres and forest schools.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction and Theory; 2. Choosing locations for interactive writing visits; 3. Out-of-classroom sessions: preparations and practicalities; 4. Leading a descriptive poetry brainstorm session; 5. Possible pre-writing inputs on poetry’s layouts, sounds, language, meaning & form; 6. Essential inputs before students write descriptive poems; 7. additional poetry inputs, editing tips and suggestions on the ‘writing space’; 8. ‘Minimalist poems’: a useful poetry form to base on locational brainstorms; 9. Group poems, their development into other art forms and examples of co-operative work; 10. Useful poetry forms for writing on location: ‘reflective haikus’; 11.  Useful poetry forms for writing on location: ‘syllable cinquains’; 12. How locations can improve story writing and generate amazing plots; 13. Location-based collective stories; 14. Location-inspired fictitious diary writing; 15. Endless possibilities: taking out-of-classroom writing in more directions

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Colin Macfarlane is a writer, educational consultant, performing poet, creative writing tutor and ex-journalist. He has run numerous courses for institutions throughout the UK and his educational work has been featured in publications including the Times Educational Supplement.


'There is life beyond the school gates, as demonstrated by this motivating and practical book that proves education is so much more than paperwork in the classroom.' - Len Parkyn, The Teacher magazine - NUT