I've found that creating word mandalas as both a class project and an individual effort not only help build word choice, but also provide a non-linear way to brainstorm writing ideas. One of my favorites was produced by an exceptional (and quirky) 8th grader who brought in a pizza box. Open the box and you saw a fine watercolor of an especially aromatic pizza sprinkled with showing words that helped everyone imagine and savor every teen's favorite food. I use that pizza box for years as a prop when teaching with the traits!
"Mandalas are forms of sacred geometry; ancient, and cross-cultural visual tools for initiation, spiritual development and enlightenment. While the word "mandala" originates from the Sanskrit and while we have come to associate this kind of form with India and the Buddhist tradition, every culture around the globe creates what they consider spiritually-informed symbols that could be seen as mandalas."