Archive for October 23rd, 2012

Read other Slice of Life writers at The Two Writing Teachers

October 20th has been dedicated by the National Council of Teachers of English as the National Day of Writing. This year, the date fell on a Saturday, so my students and I celebrated on Friday, Oct. 19th. One of my favorite writing activities evolved from a workshop originated by artist Paul Schexnayder entitled, “Dancing with a Paintbrush.” Paul’s idea was to free up creativity by playing different selections of wordless music and having students paint whatever colors, lines, and shapes that come to mind. I borrowed this idea and added a writing element.

Dancing with a paintbrush

I selected some musical pieces. There is no magic in the selections I made, but basically I was looking for pieces that evoked different emotions. The ones I used were “Silent Moon” by Jia Peng, “A Day Without Rain” by Enya, “Tarantelle Styrienne” by Debussy, and “The Girl I Left Behind,” a Celtic selection.

With watercolor paints and drawing paper, the students and I painted while the music played. Then at the end of each piece, I asked them to write 4 words and a title for their painting. After all selections were played and they had a collection of 3 paintings with words and titles, I asked them to select one to write about. Make the title of the painting your title and use the 4 words in some way within the poem. The results were all different and creative.

Focused and listening leads to creative expression.

Here are some sample poems from this exercise:

it comes with amazing colors
of red,
and even yellow too
All the colors
could be a rainbow
just waiting for you
for beauty is true
telling of mood,
and imagery.
Pure beauty comes from heart,
The Rightful Beauty.

by Kendall, 5th grade

The Chinese Gates

I am a girl
I live In China
Every day I paint swirls
Ah,so beautiful
I paint the sun and water
I paint the moon and rivers
Even some Chinese words
I learn new paintings every day
And maybe some day you could visit me in China by the Chinese Gates.

by Emily, 2nd grade

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