Play with your Words #27: Ordinary Beauty: an Expository Writing Prompt

Zen masters teach their students to look for beauty in everyday things. Look around you—your room, your home, your neighborhood… Select an ordinary object. It could be your bed, the sugar bowl, or a nice rock. Examine it closely, looking to find something beautiful in it. You might like to make some notes or sketches as you examine the object to help you gather your thoughts.

Now, write about your object. Describe it. Explain what it is and why you think you have never before recognized how beautiful it is.

Share your writing with your writing buddies.

Compliment one another on the strengths and beauties of each others’ prose.

If you are working with a pre-reader/writer, choose a familiar place. Go there together taking a pad of paper and pencil or pen. Ask your child to list the things he sees around him and to tell you one thing she likes about each. Write these down.

When done, read the list back to your child, pointing to each word as you say it to demonstrate the one-to-one correspondence between the spoken word and the set of letters on the page. Together, draw some pictures to go with the words. Have fun.

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