Thinking Creatively

Being able to think creatively is a useful life skill to have, and it’s fun, too! Inspired by the Year of Macmillan Life Skills, author Chris Rose presents a series of Macmillan Readers activities all about encouraging creativity and creative writing. Each set of activities provides prompts for creative writing tasks and can be used in class or independently as one-off activities or as part of the entire series.

Take a look at the latest set of Thinking Creatively activities and visit the Macmillan Readers site for more tips, lessons and free resources on creative writing.

Explore our full collection of life skills resources.


How to create… a fictional character


‘Character is plot, plot is character.’

A good character is one of the most important starting points in building a good story, but creating strong, believable fictional characters relies on being able to imagine and understand other people and their lives. In our first six activities in the series, we explore how self-reflection, thinking about the things we carry and asking the right questions can be useful prompts when it comes to creating a new character for your story.

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How to write… a short story

Making the right decisions

Like reading or writing stories, life itself presents us with lots of challenges and times when we have to make decisions – sometimes difficult ones! Whether a character is faced with a difficult decision or has to reflect on the consequences of their choices, decisions can offer useful prompts for a short story. Explore five activities to get you thinking creatively and develop the important life skill of decision making.

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How to write… a film script

Solving problems

Writing a film script is not the same as writing a story and often involves solving a number of problems. Considering how to resolve a central point of conflict in a film is often the main driving force for the story. Equally, problems can arise during the script writing and film-making process itself which require us to think on our feet. Take a look at six activities to take you through the film writing process while employing your problem solving skills

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How to write… a poem

Thinking outside the box

Innovation and exploration are two of the skills we employ when writing poetry. The process of writing poetry can help us think about the world differently, think about the way we use language and consider the meaning of the words we use. Exploring popular forms of poetry including acrostics, haikus and calligrams, here are six activities to encourage your class to use their imagination and think outside the box.

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How to create… a holiday scrapbook

Organising and making connections

Planning a holiday this summer? Creating a scrapbook is an ideal project for a holiday or school trip and can be a great way for teachers to evaluate the English abilities of their new classes at the start of a new term. Building on the creative writing skills in the previous worksheets, these activities help students to organise their creative ideas while thinking about presentation and ways to communicate about themselves.

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How to write… a play

The show must go on!

Writing a play is not only about the writer, but a collective process, involving actors and a director. Time management is essential for ensuring you have enough time to write, rewrite and rehearse, while working as a group means its important to play to everyone's different strengths.

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