..Nature’s Role in
The Color of My Words

  1. What is the importance of the gri gri tree to Ana Rosa?
  2. How does the power of the sea heal Ana Rosa’s heart when she learns the truth about her real father?
  3. What do the bulldozers represent when they arrive in the village?
  4. What important symbol does the “sea monster” represent to the villagers and to Ana Rosa? What does it foreshadow later on?
  5. How does Ana Rosa feel the music of the sea?
  6. How do the waves talk to Ana Rosa?
  7. What does Ana Rosa mean when she says, “If ever you will be forgiven for something it is her at the beach under the sun, in the sea, beneath a wave, close to everything that makes you happy without even trying.”
  8. What does the gri gri tree signify in the battle between the government and the villagers?
  9. Many movies and books talk about The Tree of Life—Avatar is a recent movie about a tree that represents man’s life-long and important connection to nature. How is Ana Rosa’s gri gri tree similar to that Avatar tree?

The Tree of Life is important in many different religious traditions including Hindus, Jews, Mormons, and the Maya. They all hold similar beliefs that one can attain higher levels of evolution and consciousness by climbing upwards in the tree of life. The Mayas contacted their ancestors at the Mayan Ceiba tree. In Chetumal, Mexicao, The Museo de Culturo Maya is built around a Tree of Life exhibit where each of the three floors represents a different level in evolution and consciousness.

Art/Poetry Project
Create a Tree of Life and on each branch describe in words/pictures/drawings/clay, or any other medium, the importance of “nature” in your life, and ways in which you stay connected to nature and the planet. Some sample images of the Tree of Life are available here.

Social Studies Project
Make a Chart showing what the symbol of the “Tree of Life” represents in the mythologies and religions of the world’s cultures, including the ancient Egyptians,
the Mayans, Assyrians, Chinese, Japanese, in Judaism, and to Mormons. Explain
the similarities of this one symbol to the different cultures.

Science Project
In science, the Tree of Life symbolizes the evolutionary genealogy of species. Or in simpler words, what descendants evolved into modern day birds, mammals, reptiles and so forth. This website provides wonderful diagrams of the tree of life. At this site you can use the tree branch to trace the Reptile branch back to where it meets the Amphibian branch. Compare this to the curved time lines and you can see that this meeting point, which represents the time when the common ancestor between amphibians and reptiles lived, was about 340 million years ago. Use the graph to find other connections for other species.


   

I recognize the demands of a school curriculum and the need to address
reading and writing strategies for our children. That is why I have tailored my visits to correspond with a school district’s language arts curriculum.

I use my books to illustrate specific concepts in literature and I conduct mini workshops to get the students writing poetry and short stories featuring their own culture, heritage and traditions.

With my book, The Color of My Words, I discuss the power of words to convey ideas, principles and feelings, and the use of imagery, metaphors and descriptive language to express emotions.

I have been fortunate to enjoy numerous author visits in which students created drawings, poems, and wonderful Spanish desserts like arroz con dulce for me. A class in a New York school organized a merengue dance performance to celebrate Ana Rosa’s culture, and I joined in dancing with the students. It was exhilarating. I love the energy, the questions and the enthusiasm of the kids who have read my books and are eager to discuss them with me.

 

I am happy to assist a school in ordering my books for a classroom prior to a visit. If you are a teacher or librarian and interested in having me for a school visit, please contact me

 
 
Lynn Joseph | Trinidadian Author of Children's and Young Adult Novels
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