Mentor Text Review: I was Only Nineteen

  • Author: John Schumann
  • Illustrator: Craig Smith
  • Publisher: A&U Children’s

I Was Only Nineteen would be a powerful book to read and discuss with students in addition to listening to the song in preparation for ANZAC day.
This is a picture storybook version of the song written by John Schumann. The illustrations are done by Craig Smith and help make the song lyrics more accessible to a younger audience.

Suggestions For Using This Mentor Text To Teach Writing:

IDEAS- The author has selected an idea they are passionate and knowledgeable about. They include details that help create a picture in the readers’ mind.

VOICE- The author of this text establishes a very strong tone. They care about the topic and it shows in the writing.

The audience is drawn in to keep reading because of the precise WORD CHOICE, precise details and insights that contribute to the strong voice of the piece. We feel as if we can hear the voice of the writer when we read the text.

Suggestions For Using This Mentor Text To Teach Reading:

Much INFERRING can be done in this text. The author doesn’t give us all the details and asks us to fill in the rest of the story (eg. What happened to Frankie? Why can’t the narrator sleep at night? Why do helicopters give the narrator the chills?).

MAKING CONNECTIONS: Many QUESTIONS could/would arise from this text- some with answers within the text and some we would have to do further research to answer.

The original Writing Traits Masterclass Series course opens on July 1st!

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