Pink dresses, pink blossoms, pink cheeks from playing hard outside.
Pink scarves are wrapped with a pink bow,
waiting to be draped around a beautiful Mom or Grandmom
on a pink and perfectly perfect Mother’s Day this year.
June turns everything to blue:
Blue sailboats, blue rivers, blue fields.
Blue flowers dot the meadows,
Bobbing their blooms in the tender breeze
And drinking up sweet blue rain.
These poems were written by studying a mentor text, “February,” by Charlotte Otten (appears in January Rides the Wind). Rose Cappelli, co-author of Mentor Texts and this blog site, first tried out this imitation. It was so inviting, I had to try it out myself. I’ve used this poem to notice what an author does, and then try to walk around in the syntax of that particular writer. I believe it encourages student writers to take risks and try out new things.
As I read picture books, magazine and newspaper articles, and novels - I always try to find something new - a craft move, a scaffold, or a use of punctuation - that I want to study and try to embed in my own writing. First, I try it out in my writer's notebook. I think about the author's purpose. Why was this craft move or organizational structure so effective here? Then I imagine where it might fit into my own writing. Of course, I am forever grateful to Katie Wood Ray and her body of work. Particularly, Wondrous Words changed the way I think about writing and reading. Now, I read a text as both a reader and a writer. It has made all the difference in my writing and in my confidence as a writer.