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ESL Creative Writing Activity

ESL Creative Writing Activity

Students brainstorm ideas for a story by drawing images and writing short descriptions on a blank sheet of paper. An ESL creative writing activity for students of all levels.

Level:  Any

Topic:  Creative Writing

Time:  45 minutes


  • One unlined sheet of A4 size paper for each student.



Give each student a piece of A4 paper.


Explain the concept of Prewriting or Brainstorming.

It is the first stage where ideas are generated and organized for the writing process. This activity is useful to generate ideas for a story. There are no right or wrong answers. Just write or draw anything that comes to mind.


Ask students to draw two characters on their paper. Then, ask them to think about the characters and write some information about them. Use the following questions to give students ideas. Allow plenty of time for drawing and labeling.

What’s their name?

How old are they?

What do they do?

What are their hobbies?


Next, ask students to think about the story and answer the following questions. Allow plenty of time for drawing and writing.

  • Where are they? Is it an imaginary place or a real place? What is the name of the place? Write the name of the place.
  • What does it look like? Are there buildings? Is it crowded? Is it in the city, countryside, or on a beach? Are there trees? Draw the surroundings.
  • When is the story? Is it in the past, present, or future? Write it.
  • How is the weather? Is it sunny? Cloudy? Write or draw it.
  • Why are the characters here at this place? What happened? Is there a problem? How do they solve it? Write  or draw it.

After students have finished their drawings, put them in pairs to discuss their stories.

Extended Practice

Ask students to use their Brainstorming paper to write a story.


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