Saturday, July 26th, 2008...9:52 am

The Fruit Bowl Project: 50 Ways to Tell a Story by Sarah Durkee

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Ms. Vallis’ Grade 8 students are in for a special treat. It just so happens that her cousin is married to Nick Thompson, rock music icon, and that Nick Thompson is going to visit the class, share with them everything that 30 years in the music business has taught him about writing, and then give the students an assignment that will change the way they see themselves, their classmates, and the written word.
Writing, says Nick, is long hours all alone with a pen and an spiral bound notebook, trying to “think of the right word and feeling like a total champ when [he] find[s] it.” His theory is that writing is like an artist trying to capture a single bowl of fruit. There is one bowl, but “an infinite number of ways to paint it, depending on who’s painting and how they want it to look.” With the students’ help, Nick comes up with the bowl of fruit, the elements of a story, and challenges them to find a point of view, choose a genre, and tell the story.
SCHOOL, 6TH GRADE, READING TEST, DROPPED PENCIL, GIRL MAD, LUNCH, MILK OUT THE NOSE. With these facts, Ms. Vallis’ Grade 8s create poems, raps, limericks, reports, fairytales… and discover within each of them the power of writing.
The Fruit Bowl Project is a quirky and inspiring novel that will set you to thinking about your own story!
FernFolio Editor

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