Teresa Klepinger is a storyteller on a mission—to stimulate children’s imaginations and get them excited about writing.
Author of Scholastic’s recently published teacher resource, Cliffhanger Writing Prompts, Klepinger is offering a Creative Writing Workshop for grades 4-6 at the Lake Oswego Library from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on four consecutive Wednesdays, beginning September 26.
Why do kids need help with being creative?
According to Klepinger, the structure and demands of school assignments can sometimes squelch the muse. Rewrites, writing for a grade—that can take the fun out of writing. “It becomes a chore,” Klepinger, explains, and she’d like to put the excitement back into it.
How does she do that?
By using writing prompts and giving kids permission to let their imaginations be their guide. There are no grades, no expectations to hold them back and as a result, kids come up with some amazing stories that even Klepinger admits she couldn’t have dreamed up.
One of her favorites was a girl’s response to this prompt: two boys discover a trap door in the floor of the barn that they hadn’t seen before and so they open it up. When Klepinger ended it with, “And then…” one fifth grade girl blurted out, “There was a giant chocolate chip cookie singing the national anthem.”
Klepinger’s approach is a far cry from the, “Tell me what you did last summer,” assignment and stimulates children’s imaginations in a more open-ended way. She knows she has struck a chord when she has to settle down the brainstorming part of the workshop so the kids can write down their own individual story endings.
“Once they realize there is no one right answer, they start getting sillier with more outlandish ideas—it’s hard for them to hold themselves back from shouting out what they think happens next,” Klepinger explains.
Want your child to catch some of Klepinger’s enthusiasm for writing? Call 503.697.6580 to sign up. And check out the library’s other exciting children’s and teen programs.
Learn more about Lake Oswego’s public library in this blog post.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Poonsap/FreeDigitalPhotos.net