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Author talks to local kids about writing

Stephanie Backus/FULTON SUN photo: Author Judy Young talks to students at Bush Accelerated School on Thursday about being a writer. She read poems she had written to the students by grade level and had them help write a poem.

Stephanie Backus/FULTON SUN photo: Author Judy Young talks to students at Bush Accelerated School on Thursday about being a writer. She read poems she had written to the students by grade level and had them help write a poem.

Students at Bush Elementary School got a treat on Thursday. They learned about poems and types of poems from Missouri author Judy Young.

Young is from the Springfield area. She got her start writing when a book of poems she wrote was accepted by a publisher.

“I became a speech and language pathologist as my career. I started using poetry with my special education students. It was a way they could feel successful with English concepts,” Young said. “They were looking at small paragraphs instead of pages of papers to write. It also allowed for a lot of flexibility.”

Since her first book of poetry — S is for Show-Me, she has published eight other books, has two to be published in the spring and one more under contract. Some of the novels have been categorized as historical fiction.

“I really enjoy researching different time periods and taking one part of that time period that affects kids and writing about it,” she said. “For example in ‘The Lucky Star,’ I wrote about the Depression. I also am really interested in the time of the Oregon Trail. While researching, I found that Native Americans helped the pioneers cross rivers. Sometimes, when they overturned in a river, the Native Americans jumped in and helped them get to the banks so they didn’t drown. That’s what happens in ‘Minnow and Rose’. Rose is a pioneer who falls overboard.”

During her presentation, she taught the students alliteration and had them help write a poem using several instances of alliteration.

The second-grade poem was called ‘Crocodile’ and involved a crazy crocodile king who was looking for a fat, floppy fish to eat for a delicious dessert. She had the students come up with all the alliterative words in the poem.

“The students here were great,” she said. “You know the learning environment when you walk into the school and here, the students were attentive. They had a good time and they were great at helping write the poems.”

She also encouraged the kids to keep writing and to always read what they had written to make sure there were no mistakes in the work.

“I am putting my name on things so I want it to be my very best work, not just my OK work,” she told the students. “So always make sure you are turning in your very best work and not just your OK work.”

Several of Young’s books are up for awards this year. “The Lucky Star” is in the final 10 for the Show-Me award in Missouri.

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