Creative Writing Lesson Plan
Objectives Develop writing skills and discover that writing can be fun.

Foster creative thinking and expression.

Increase students' comfort level with the Internet and develop research skills.

Overview Students will:
1) Navigate through an online interactive virtual zoo to create imaginary animals by combining different parts of real animals.

2) Choose one of the combination animals and write a short story about it.

3) Share the story with other students by printing it or adding it to a class Web page.

Materials Switch Zoo Web site

Word processing program to write the story and add a picture of the animal.

Web publishing program to create a page about the animal. (optional)

Procedures 1) Visit Switch Zoo as a group and discuss the attributes of the nine featured animals. Consider factors that influence an animal's behavior and share stories about students' experiences with animals.

2) Direct the students to make various animal combinations and each choose one of them to be the subject of the story.

3) Provide a list of aspects of the animal's life that could be explored in the stories, for example:

  • What kind of personality does the animal have? Is it shy or outgoing, even-tempered or grumpy, etc.
  • How do its physical characteristics and environment affect its personality and behavior?
  • Where does the animal live?
  • What does the animal like to eat?
  • Who are the animal's friends and enemies?
    Facts about all of the animals in Switch Zoo

Additionally, a creative scenario could be suggested to provide a framework for the story. Some examples:

  • Suppose this animal were living in your neighborhood. What would it be doing there and how would its new neighbors react?
  • Imagine visiting the animal in its own habitat. What would its world be like, and what would happen during the visit?
  • Write a creation myth for the animal. "This is a Lofadog... He loves computers because he was born from a computer..." (This story and some other examples of creation myths written by grade school children can be seen on the Seven Poems and a Story and the Stories pages).

4) After the stories have been written, assist the students in putting a picture of the animal and the story together on a page, either to be printed or published as a class Web page.

Assessment Read all of the stories together as a group, then ask each student to choose their favorite story and explain what made it interesting to them.