Writing prompt: A color only my soul can understand
A writing exercise for children ages 8 to 12
Published: July 2, 2010
A famous artist named Paul Klee said, “Color is the place where our brain and the universe meet.” Colors are amazing—they speak every language; they show our moods, feelings, memories; describe physical surfaces like mountain tops and swimming pools, old barns, summer mornings, and baseball fields before dark.
Pick a color. It might be your favorite color, or it might be a color you haven’t worn or given much thought to in a while.
Then take a walk. Take your time to see and feel all the things that are this color. Imagine your entire body as this color—inside and out—acting like a magnet, drawing everything that is this same “shade frequency” to you.
Then find your answers to as many (or as few) of the questions below as you want. You might make up a new name or moniker for your color, like “Em-a-plo-va-zar.” You might become an adventurer who’s not afraid to wander inside the maze of nooks and crannies in every hue.
How does your color move?In what season was it born?
What place(s) does it take you?What time of day or night does it like?
What does your color wish for?What is hidden behind it?
What sound isn’t your color?What three other things aren’t your color?
What is it a box of?What is it a song of?
What is it the shape of?Who are its friends?
Examples for inspiration
Em-a-plo-va-zar, a color made by me, is a mixture of maroon, pear, plum, aqua, topaz, and copper. A beautiful color only my soul can understand. It zips through my imagination and shoves all the other colors of my body, so it can deliver happiness and joy to my soul. It lopes around some days, so when I feel the slightest thing that makes me upset it can immediately come and cheer me up. It sways its cup of hot chocolate and tells stories to the other colors. It forces itself to crawl out of bed if something bothers me during the night. It has to be tough to withstand the murmuring and jealousy of the other colors. It is swollen with love for me. A square shape to stand out from all the other circular colors, it’s curved inside for flexibility so it can move with ease around my body. “Pendelise,” a shape of which I do not know, but it fits just the same, jutting and pointy to fight off all things I do not like.
"Our Friend, Blue"
Blue’s imagination is shaped like the sky.
Peacock feathers, lost buttons and the deep side of the ocean
are all part of blue’s collection. At midnight,
Blue tiptoes across an indigo storm to swim Time’s river.
Strong and tender, blue crosses to the other side
to count rainbows and sing songs about whales
dreaming and what it takes to create the world.
All of blue’s secrets are kept in a box of friendship,
held together with a piece of string and a turquoise lid.
is the author of Rip the Page!: Adventures in Creative Writing. She has inspired children in the art of creative writing for 16 years as a freewrite facilitator, creative-writing coach and poet-teacher in the California Poets in the Schools program, where she specializes in leading creative-wriing workshops for children 7 to 14 years old.|
|Excerpted from RIP THE PAGE! by Karen Benke, © 2010. Published by arrangement with Trumpeter, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston. www.Shambhala.com.||