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THE PEARL, John Steinbeck

The Pearl for Modern Times
If John Steinbeck had set his "parable" in the 21st century, who might his main character be? Where would they live? What would their life be like? How would they suddenly become rich? What problems would they face as a result of their sudden wealth? How would the story end?

Grab your most creative "thinking cap" and rewrite "The Pearl" for modern times! You are allowed to change the characters’ names, occupations etc. You can even add new characters and situations. There will definitely not be a pearl in your story.

1) Make notes under the following headings:

2) Discuss your story ideas with classmates. Add as much detail as possible to your notes so that you have a clear image of your character’s appearance, voice, attitude to others and so on.

Here’s an example (not complete, of course):

THE DIGITAL CAMERA, by John Beanstalk

3) In a group, share your story ideas and combine them to create a new story. Present your story to the rest of the class as a mime. Your teacher will "pause" the mime at intervals to allow other students to say what they think has happened.

4) Then choose one incident (e.g. the doctor’s visit, or Kino’s attempt to sell the pearl) from Steinbeck’s story and rewrite it with your 21st century characters and setting. (Approx. 200 words)



Frankie Meehan