The mystery is history
About now in the school year a search is on.
Students round up a few likely suspects:
They probe into their past. And they
create a short script, or construct a table display
or write an essay about the object of their attention.
If they are passionate and well-informed and are favored
by the local, regional and state judges, they find
themselves in our nation’s capital for the National
History Day Fair.
A shake of the dance rattle (traditional turtle shell or
modern day metal can) please, as I mention with
pride that this time around Betty Mae Tiger Jumper,
is highlighted as a worthy subject.
She receives a fine digital shout out directed at students: http://www.floridamemory.com/onlineclassroom/history_fair/
Will students look closer at the woman who authorized me to
tell her story to younger readers?
Because she wrestled alligators, she grabs attention. For grade school
age, a creative collaboration produced the gold medal, Florida Book
Awards title, She Sang Promise: The Story of Betty Mae Jumper.
It features a letter to readers from her son, Moses Jumper, Jr. and illustrations from Lisa Desimini, with my text vetted by
the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
What pulls middle grade students in is that Betty Mae began
kindergarten at middle school age.
High school researchers may want to explore death threats
she survived, her election as the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s
first woman leader, her role in forming a four-tribe coalition
to speak with one voice. her appointment to a presidential
The 2014 national theme on rights and responsibilities is a smooth fit
for this trailblazer.
Brava! Betty Mae Tiger Jumper. Added to a list of
non-Native men and women who our nation’s students have presented
on, since at least 1974.
all images copyrighted by the author
PLUS – an additional resource from this site (any returning readers, apologies for the previous non-working link) is:
2 responses to “The mystery is history”
How nice that this post takes the form of free verse. It is really charming as a piece of writing and an enticing introduction to a wonderful book. Brava, Jan!
you made my week with this!