Are you a fan of National Novel Writing Month? Dedicated to the novel writing process and all things literary, this program can help hone writing skills, encourage creativity, and introduce students to the fun of long-form publishing. Whether your class is ready to write full novels or you’d just like to incorporate the NaNoWriMo spirit into your lessons, read on for some ideas to get started.
Take advantage of official NaNoWriMo educator resources
Over at the NaNoWriMo website, you can download Common Core-aligned free lesson plans and worksheets that were created by the folks who organize the month’s festivities. You’ll also find tips for word count goals and pep talks from well-known authors!
Get tips to teach creative writing
Don’t have a lot of experience teaching creative writing? No problem—there are plenty of educators who are willing to share their knowledge. Find out how to establish rules for teaching narrative units or try these tips that cover guidelines, resources, and more.
Pile on the writing prompts
The easiest way to dive into storytelling is with writing prompts that spark creative thinking. Try these Story Starters from Scholastic, use images to prompt ideas, or start things off with interactive games.
Listen to a writing playlist
NaNoWriMo may be all about the written word, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get inspired by videos that talk about writing. Check out this roundup of TED Talks or get advice from famous writers like Stephen King, Isabel Allende, and Walt Disney. Use these videos to inspire students before the lesson starts or share the playlist with the class so they can listen at home!
Read, read, repeat!
You don’t have to write your own novel to appreciate the novel-writing process. Try dedicating your National Novel Writing Month to reading novels and discussing key storytelling elements. Start building your to-read list with the best books for 5th graders, the the best books to teach in middle school, and the best-ever teen novels. Need more suggestions? Ask your friendly neighborhood librarian!