Lesson 1 Assignment
Respond to the writing prompts below; do so in a font color other than black to help me differentiate your writing from the instructions. In each exercise, do not merely describe features (visual), but consider all senses and how you might “experience” what you write about. Enjoy!
Reflection #1 –Describing Objects
(5-7 sentences each)
Describe any 2 of the following objects in a paragraph each. Think carefully about these objects and how you might witness, experience or encounter them, writing as though you were in their very midst. To do this, choose an interesting/effective “point of view.” Recall examples in your Lesson for ideas. Be sure to write in prose and NOT in poetic form. Remember – effective writing evokes emotion, and so your reader should not experience indifference toward what you share.
Trees in a storm
A newborn baby
A birthday party
A bowling alley
An iconic landmark
Reflection #2 –Describing Places
Write a description of ONE of the following places in a paragraph. First decide on the “impression/effect” the place creates for you. Is it imposing, dirty, noisy, or chaotic? After considering the general effect, use sensory details (the five senses) to capture and convey its essence. Remember, leave an impression; paint a picture with words.
A subway station
An attic or cave
An amusement park
An castle ruins
A fast food restaurant
Reflection #3 – Describing People
Write “a pen portrait” of some well-known historical figure, actor/actress, or comic figure from the cartoons, but do not reveal the name. This is not a biography of facts but a caricature that you make familiar to me. Note the example in the lesson for inspiration. Give enough factual detail to locate the person in terms of time and place (history and setting: fictional, political, pop-culture). The trick will be whether I can recognize that person by your description, but without you giving them away by name or the obvious.
Reflection #4 – Describing the Group
Write TWO reflections, one from each of two following groups of people, being sure you capture the spirit of the occasion, or its dominant mood. Avoid general description, and instead portray the most colorful features and/or idiosyncrasies of the crowd (something distinct about the nature of the group/event).
Choose one from this group:
A church gathering or worship celebration, OR
A concert, sports event or political rally
An examination room (hospital, school, job)
And choose one from this group:
A city during a blackout, or in the midst of a chaos, OR
Pandemonium on an airplane or in a crowded space after a shocking occurrence
A current affair (9/11, Boston bombing, a sinking cruise ship or derailed train)
Reflection #5 – Describing Mood and Mental State
Choose one of the following, focusing your descriptive paragraph on a single individual with a strongly identifiable mood. Place the individual in one of the contexts, helping me sense/feel the strongest aspects of the mood. Remember this is not a story about the mood, but an account that puts me in the middle of its energy: what it feels like, looks like, sounds like, bringing out the force of the experience as much as you can.
Terror or awe
Peace or tranquility
Curiosity or anticipation
Reflection #6 – Descriptive Story
Choose one of the following, and capture in your description the “conflicting emotional reactions” among the people present. This is an opportunity to use each skill you’ve learned in Lesson One, with an opportunity to offer a broader account of those skills sampled above. So, be sure your expression is rich with descriptive details.
Spectators in a courtroom hear the jury deliver its verdict.
A group of students take over a school and demand changes.
In the last minute, or in overtime, the unfavoured team wins in an upset
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