Chicken Soup for the 6th Grade Soul Week 1

Week 1: This is week is all about building the foundation for your Chicken Soup Story.

Assignment: Write a story about living, traveling or interacting with the Nile.

“Yes!” I yelled from my diaphragm to the top of my lungs.  My dad told me that we are going to take a walk along the Nile River Valley.  Once a month my dad and I go to the Nile to sing songs of praise to the Nile for it’s beauty, and gifts of life.  We praise the Nile because it is a major source of water for Egypt and without it we would not be able to survive.  My dad read a poem that he wrote about the Nile when he was a little boy.  One of the lines that stood out was, “The Nile, bringer of life, beauty and joy.  Praise to the Black Land that provide us with Life giving Soil”

After our songs of praise, we walk along the banks of Nile in the Black Land.  After periods of great water down pour from the sky the Nile gives the gift of soil that is ready to plant.  My dad and I double crop the soil.  If there is time my dad and have competitions of fishing.  My favorite part about travelling the Nile is the time that I get to spend with my dad.

Things to Consider about this assignment:

There were times in doing this assignment where I couldn’t think of anything to write or couldn’t think of ways to put myself in the shoes of someone living in Egypt next to the Nile River.  I was having trouble coming up with a name for my character’s best friend so I googled “Egyptian names” and clicked on a website and choose one of the names

As we discussed in class, use Empathy as a way to put yourself in the shoes of another person.  Ask yourself, “How would an Egyptian 6th grader or 11/12 year old be like me?  “Is there something that I like to do that I could do in Egypt?” This could be anything.  I wrote about a young boy that spends time with his Dad.  One of my favorite things to do is go fishing with my dad and I thought about what it would be like to travel the Nile, plant soil, sing songs of praises (Because that is what people did in those days) and go fishing.

Just write!

Challenge Activity: Write a poem of praise to the Nile.

Here is a sample Poem About the Nile, written by Omar Ibrahim:

behold how the River Nile generously flows

and hugs the banks with its gentile waves

it flows and smiles to the sun above

it flows as the blood inside a body

it flows as the breaths inside the lungs

it flows to greet farms and gardens

it flows and waters thirsty throats

it flows and waters flowers and trees

it flows and offers fish for food

it flows and floods the dry soil

it flows through a valley of its creation

it flows beside great pyramids and temples

it flows to crown a heavenly land

it says: ”take my waters and grow”

it says: ”let my immortal waters flow”

it says: ”within my surge life awakens”

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