I’m taking this mentor text in a different direction today. Since this is a blog post, I’m going to demonstrate how I use another writer’s blog as a mentor text for my own blog post. Barb’s post on using pictures as mentor texts really inspired me to try on her ideas so, here goes! Using a blog post, about using pictures as a mentor text, as a mentor text.
Barb’s post asks us to first write what we notice in the picture, or to “read” the photo. Here is what I first notice:
boat, huge wave, no people present
- The settings appears to be on water, a large body of water such as an ocean, to produce such a large amount of water surrounding the boat.
Point of View
- The picture seems to have been taken by someone standing on a level higher than the deck about to be submerged in water.
- It is also possible that the end of the boat on which the photographer was standing was higher (as if in the air) while the front end of the boat was dipping down, or diving, into the water.
- It doesn’t feel like the photographer is in danger of the water.
- Right before this, I imagine that the people on board the boat heard a warning sound and were able to run to safety at the other end of the boat.
- Right after this picture was taken, I imagine the waves making direct contact with the boat. This would lead to unimaginable damage and chaos, as wood is crushed, people and objects are thrown into the air and submerged under churning waters.
- With no “characters” present in the photo, I’m left to wonder about the photographer’s presence in this scene and whether or not anyone else is around.
- Did the photographer put him or herself in danger?
- Where was this photo taken?
- What happened to the boat?
- Could someone survive something like this?
As I dissect each of these elements, following along with the model of my mentor text, my brain is churning with story ideas. I could easily use this picture to create a narrative. I could also use this as a springboard for research about tidal waves, tsunamis, or boating incidents, leading to some sort of informative writing. Armed with such information, I might be able to write an argumentative piece about boat safety. Wow! Hitting all three of the main text types called out in the Common Core State Standards just from one picture. Imaging what students could do with this?
I love that you are discussing perspective. I have been grappling with this issue, as it certainly influences our life choices. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, as I am conflicted about what to do as I near the end of our Doctoral program. I have had several job offers, but as I am about to finish my book about teaching at the border, I am in a quandary about how to proceed. It is all about perspective. There are some who’s perspective is that it would be beneath my status when I graduate to continue at San Ysidro High School. From my perspective, I can see it two ways: continue to impact the community while trying to bring about change (while working in a completely closed off district), or seek out other opportunities that have a bigger, more widespread impact on poor children, as advised to me by the amazing Dean Hovda. Everyone who knows me knows that I am committed to education for children in poverty. Is it better for me to leave SYHS and go elsewhere to make a bigger impact? I have to keep looking at it from each perspective, so that I can make good decisions is the months ahead. And my reluctance to stay, teach, and do research at SYHS speaks volumes about how we view and value teachers; another perspective.
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