This month, I'm participating in the Slice of Life challenge with Two Writing Teachers. If you want to participate, you can link up at their Slice of Life Story Post or you can head on over there to check out other people's stories and follow along with the fun. For more information on what a Slice of Life is about, you can go here.
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Tonight was Family Literacy Night at our K-2 building. I led a writing station where we wrote I Am/You Soy poems. I considered showing this video but it seemed more appropriate for older students. It especially made me think about the types of messages I hope to share in my writing. It's taken me a long time to feel comfortable in the skin I'm in but watching this video helped me feel proud of who I am and how I'm not afraid to be me and share my stories.
Here are the lyrics in Spanish and in English. It's a really powerful song about being yourself even when you aren't like everyone else and about not worrying about what other people think. The most important thing is to stay true to yourself.
I'm still thinking about spoken word and what I would share. I've written poetry before but I've never delivered my own writing as spoken word. I definitely want my writing to be honest and thought provoking and to truly make a statement. I go back to Noel Quiñones and how his words felt so true to me but I watch this video and the way the girl in the video owns her decisions and who she is, it feels so true too. I want my words to feel true...whether it's a little bit or a lot, I want them to ring true.
Part of my process as a writer is finding mentor texts that inform the writing I want to do. When I'm ready to write a picture book, I gather up a pile of books that might influence me. When I'm writing a novel, I read books where something inspires me. As I'm exploring spoken word, I'm definitely learning and soaking up what's out there but at the same time finding pieces like this amazing song and the story in the video that resonate with me and that I might like to use as inspiration for my own spoken word.
While educators can definitely bring in mentor texts for students to learn from ...it's so powerful to invite writers to look for mentor texts on their own. As readers, we tend to know what we like. As writers, we can find those books or texts or media that we like and then study it and use it to inform our own creation. This is what writing and mentor texts are all about.