Empowering Parents to Teach- Color notebok

Use Color Swatches to Teach Descriptive Writing

Today, our guest author Kelly shares with us one of her strategies for making her writing more descriptive and colorful!  It’s a strategy we could easily do with our little ones to help them edit their own writing.


From our guest author, Kelly:


“The green car was speeding down the road” or “The hunter green SUV sped down the road.”  Which sentence gives you a clearer picture of the car?  Challenge your young ones to think outside of the painted box by picking non-primary colors as adjectives.


As a writer, I know firsthand how challenging it is to not use the same adjectives over and over again. While editing a fiction project that relied heavily on colors, I came up with a creative solution to my habitual use of generic color descriptors – paint swatches!  Replacing “yellow” with “marigold” and “dark red” with “burgundy” more accurately reflected the visual I was attempting to achieve.  So when you’re looking to add a splash of color to a routine day, try this colorful and budget-friendly exercise:


• Go to your local home improvement store with your child and ask them to select one swatch per color in the rainbow (RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, INDIGO, and VIOLET).


• Spread out the swatches (face down first) on your dining room table, in a semi-circular pattern to resemble a rainbow.


• Write a one paragraph story together using each of the rainbow colors as adjectives. Read the story aloud so that you both have a visual of what you described.


• Now, flip the swatches over one by one and replace each rainbow color in your story with one of the colors shown on the swatches.  Read this version aloud for comparison.

Empowering Parents to Teach- Color Swatches for Writing



FINAL QUESTIONS - Did the story change?  Does the image you created when using the swatch colors differ from the first version?


*If it’s a rainy day, just use a box of crayons and the internet. Instead of using the swatch colors, type “shades of red” into your internet browser and she what results come up.*


Challenge yourself to color outside of the lines because you’ll paint an even more vivid picture than you previously imagined!



About the author:  Kelly uses her love of writing, music, theatre, film and television to inspire others.  She maintains numerous blogs and just recently finished her premiere novel.  With all of the roles she takes on during the day, she most loves being an aunt to five amazing kids. Visit her website (www.kellydeeny.com) to learn more! Like Kelly on Facebook to keep up with her creative endeavors!


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