It’s Poetry Month! Reading poetry and using it as a mentor text is a great way to absorb spare and specific language.
This month, I’m featuring a book by one of our own GROGGER bloggers, Jan Godown Annino. Her picture book biography SHE SANG PROMISE: THE STORY OF BETTY MAE JUMPER, SEMINOLE TRIBE LEADER, was already on my radar because I’m working on a full-length mentor text lesson plan for this book.
Whether you are an adult writing children’s literature, a teacher teaching young writers with mentor texts, or a young writer who uses mentor texts, SHE SANG PROMISE is full of language that packs a punch.
I personally love “herstories,” histories of strong women. This is one of those stories.
Illustrated by Lisa Desimini
National Geographic, 2010
The book shares the life story of Betty Mae Jumper, a Seminole woman in Florida. She was an everywoman, a student, a nurse, a champion for educating her people, a storyteller, a leader, and voice for her people.
What Writing Skills Can You Improve by Studying this Book?
* Lyrical, poetic language
* Vivid Verbs
* Sensory words
* Specificity of Language
The word choice in this book is specific to Betty Mae Jumper’s life and her world.
Application to My Own Writing
As you work on your own writing, take a look at your language. Make a list of some of your specific language. Does it convey a particular setting? Does is reveal a uniqueness of character? Does show action that is distinct to the topic or story at hand?
What are some of your favorite books with lyrical or poetic language? Share your favorites in the comments.