Hello all. I would love some feedback/ideas for writing exercises for a beginning creative writing student. I volunteer at a prison, teaching creative writing to inmates. Right now, I'm teaching a women's group. I've met with a few challenges so far: 1. They prefer poetry (and most of it has to rhyme or is in fairly simple/journal type language). 2. They seem to be resisting the idea of writing fiction. Perhaps it's the perceived commitment of seeing a story from beginning to end and that may be daunting to a new writer. 3. They're not too comfortable with writing something imaginary. They tend to want to stick to memoir/life writing. So, I hope to break them out of that mold this week. I want to push them to use their imaginations. Most of them don't have a really sophisticated way with language. Most actually have very (very) negative experiences from their days at school. One Spanish woman stated that she punished every time she said a Spanish word in class (just as an example). So, I try to be more encouraging and so forth. I know I'm not going to get Shakespeare here. But, I do want them to explore and play in the fields of fiction, so to say. I would love some ideas on writing prompts for beginners. I'm not talking college freshmen/sophomores (which I am used to instructing), I'm talking more middle school/high school level here. Very basic exercises that I can bulk up for those who do write at a higher level. Some do not even have a 6th grade education here. Some were in college. It's a vast array. I was thinking of bringing in some wild tabloid articles and having them write their own stories from the headlines (a'la Tabloid Dreams - Olen Butler stuff). I was also thinking of bringing in beginnings of stories and leaving off at a, "what happens next" moment and letting them carry the story onward. If anyone has some great exercises that you think will help, please feel free to post some. I would love ideas/feedback! Thank you so much for reading.