When I think of mentor texts, a wonderful addition to my library is I Love You the Purplest by Barbara M. Joosse with beautiful watercolor illustrations by Mary Whyte. This book tells the story of two brothers going fishing with their mom. Each wants to be loved more than the other. But this is one poetic mother. She loves one the bluest and one the reddest. The metaphorical language is understandable to even my youngest students.
Why, Julian, I love you the bluest!
I love you the color of a dragonfly
at the tip of its wing.
I love you the color of a cave
in its deepest, hidden part
where grizzly bears and bats curl up until night.
The mist of a mountain.
The splash of a waterfall.
The hush of a whisper.
After reading the story, I ask my students to choose a color. Brainstorm words that would go with that color. We share our lists. Then they choose someone they love. (Most choose mothers. You could make it a Mother’s Day activity.) Using their lists, they write a poem about the one they love using the title, “__________, I Love you the _______-est.”
Matthew won second place in a state writing contest in second grade with his poem.
Mom, I Love you the Bluest
Mom, I love you like the color of the sky.
The shimmer of the ocean.
The color of our cat’s eyes.
My old blue jeans.
I love you with the strongest emotion.
I guess when you have a tried and true lesson, and you’ve been blogging for 4 years, something’s bound to come back around. I did a Google search for images and came across my own Poetry Friday post from 2013. You can read more student poems here.