Today I worked with the older members of the CWC writing camp in Korea on an activity I call “Paint the Scene.” The task is to write a short descriptive paragraph in which every scene evokes a particular colour. The hitch is that you can only use the name of that colour ONCE in the entire paragraph.
Here are the results of the four participants (plus mine, at the end). I usually make students pick a colour out of a hat, but for this one I just let everyone use his or her favourite colour.
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Paint the Scene Blue
His eyes reflected the sky, making his eyes more azure than ever. As he gazed at the sky, the sun started to set, turning the turquoise sky into the color of sunset. He squinted at the sight of the sun setting, feeling it blinding because of the cerulean sea reflecting the light into his eyes. As the sun set, the cobalt darkness of night overcame the glow of the setting sun, slowly enveloping the world in its dark cloak. He watched the sky with his sapphire eyes until the first of the stars came into sight.
* * *
Paint the Scene Black
By Isabella Yoon
Her dark hair, under the clouds heavy with rain, shone gloomily. The sofa, which was dyed in the simple opposite of white, didn’t really seem to be comfortable, either. She sat in front of the aisle and picked up one of the charcoals. Pale light from the open window landed on her raven hair. Her eyes were the color of steel, gazing at the artwork she has made. She rubbed her other hand against her artwork and watched as the charcoal got spread by her hand. Suddenly, she started to color the aisle with the charcoal. Its dust landed on the wooden floor like dying embers. When she finished coloring, the paper was black.
* * *
Paint the Scene Green
By Simon Yang
The smell of the thick vegetation aroused my sense. My eyes were full of the verdant colors. The grass caressing my feet bristled as the breeze blew. An iguana was relaxing in a tree, blinking his eye to a very slow tempo. The bushes made the forest feel more like a home.
Vines were climbing up the trees, craving for the taste of sun. Clover greeted me with hellos, as I bent down to take a look at them. The melody of the frog croaks and the hum of the grasshopper enlightened my ears. I yelped as I stepped on the slimy moss. Minute dew drops were trying to grip tightly onto the edge of leaves. They made the leaves look more like deep jade. Green had made nature a masterpiece.
* * *
Paint the Scene Yellow
By Sara Moon
Lily tip-toed towards a little buttercup where a butterfly had just gently landed for a quick rest. She was being very careful—she even tightly tied her blond hair back so that it didn’t bother her from concentrating–since she didn’t wanted it to fly away and disappear somewhere in the dazzling spring sky. She put a bottle of lemonade, which her mom made for her that morning, down on the damp grass and with her hand now empty, she held a little yellow bell that hung on her blouse as a decoration so that it didn’t surprise the acute little creature. She was getting closer and closer and it seemed that the butterfly was too busy enjoying a tan under the golden sunlight to notice a little girl approaching it. Almost there! thought Lily as she outstretched her arm to touch the butterfly—but just before her hand landed on its amber wings, it flew away.
* * *
Paint the Scene Orange
By Lee Edward Födi
Wrapping a finger around a curl of her ginger hair, Dahlia cast a gaze at the spectacular evening sky. It seemed as if it was on fire, streaked with brilliant cadmium and thin ochre clouds. She trudged down the steps of the porch, its tangerine paint long since blistered away by the relentless sun. Her eyes lingered upon the long-expired copper-coloured fields as they glowed in the last of the day’s fiery light. She ambled past the row of drooping peach trees. The setting sun made their dry branches gleam like burning brands. At last she came to the river; once it had been as strong and mighty as a tiger, but now it had dwindled to a trickle, and what was left of it shone like a streak of lava in the last gasps of the day. Maybe this is what death is, Dahlia thought as she sat on the banks, where the long, dead grass billowed in the wind like flames. At the very end, just before the land erupts into a fiery inferno, it is a beautiful vista, so deceivingly bursting and blooming with the colour of life. Orange.