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Provo City School District

Dixon Middle School

Frank Cole is a local Utah author whose books include Afterlife Academy and the Hidden Sceptre series, and on Tuesday, Feb. 7, he visited Dixon to host a writing workshop with select honors students, students from Mr.  Young’s creative writing class, and Mrs. Moody’s digital media class.

Honors students, creative writing students, and digital media students listen as our guest author discusses his books and style.

Cole spoke with students about his books, and how he combines humor with scary elements that middle school students tend to love.  He worked with students to generate a list of “think abouts” to use while you are writing, and had students create two characters on the spot, using a questionnaire to prompt them to consider the character’s traits, abilities, and personality.  Then our students had time to brainstorm a story of their own, assisted by the author himself as he spoke with them on a one-on-one basis about their ideas and how to plot their story.

Author Frank Cole speaking with students individually during their brainstorming session.

The experience was especially valuable to Mrs. Moody’s digital media students, who are currently writing books for Utah State Office of Education to be given to first and second graders.  The books need to teach character traits, math, or help enhance literacy.  At the end of the workshop, they wrote about why they wanted to be better writers and what they were writing currently.

“This was a valuable experience for students, who worked with the process he taught today in my class to write rough drafts of their pictures.  I am finding they were writing better stories that had sense and meaning,” said Mrs. Moody.  She added that hosting an author helps students realize the value and fun of writing.

Thank you Frank Cole for your time and your great work with our students!

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