Article for Teachers
Creative Writing: Horoscopes and Fortune Cookies
Ideas for Fun, Creativity and Imagination in Language Lessons
By Lucille Lever
Writing horoscopes, and notes for fortune cookies, expands vocabulary and enables the sharing of creative and original ideas.
The theme of horoscopes, astrology and telling fortunes is not new, and many teachers have used their own twist on it for lessons in writing, communication and pair-work. A reason that lessons with these ideas are successful is the fact that the subject is whimsical and not taken seriously; it therefore gives students license to be very creative, or even absurd.
Writing is always a serious matter, however, no matter how simple or fun the topic is, so the relaxed atmosphere lends itself to no limits of imagination, yet demands that the writing be precise, well structured and interesting.
Fortune Cookie Note Writing
Teachers should always check the notes to ensure that they don’t contain insults, rudeness, or threatening comments.
Creative Writing Using Horoscopes
Another fascinating topic is that of horoscopes. Most students are exposed to them in newspapers, magazines or online. While some people do take horoscopes seriously, others do not. However, many people are intrigued with them whether predictions have turned out to be true in the past or not.
For creative writing, this theme is wonderful. Horoscopes or zodiac signs include both the study of personality types as well as predictions. As personality types must be described, students will have to find suitable vocabulary to depict human characteristics; an excellent category of words for language improvement and expansion, particularly in the ESL classroom.
Pre-task activity: The teacher brings in some examples of horoscopes from the newspaper, Internet or magazines. Information about the zodiac and horoscopes should be
presented to the class, and an open forum of questions and answers can take place so that students will understand what they are going to do subsequently.
Horoscopes and fortune telling are intriguing no matter how
seriously one takes them. The Internet numbers show that millions of people read their horoscopes daily whether it is for fun or otherwise. For language lessons, discussion and creative writing prompts, this theme serves as an exciting springboard for creativity.