Since posting this in 2005, I've written two books I'd like you to know about: Slow Road Home ~ a blue ridge book of days; and What We Hold In Our Hands: a Slow Road Reader. From barn loft secret passwords and children who can fly if they only try. Black, glistening, it tasted like beets. Students will compose a poem that reflects a personal view of Alaska. End the poem with an explanation of where you keep any symbols, items, boxes or pictures that may represent some or most of the topics you included in your poem. Under my bed was a dress box spilling old pictures, a sift of lost faces to drift beneath my dreams.
You'll create a piece of writing that represents specific moments in your life that contribute to who you are today. I asked students to brainstorm before we read the poem because I didn't want them to be influenced by the author's lists. If the students create rich, unique images during this stage, their poems will be very good. Students will write poems that capture places, people, events, things, experiences, etc. What does it feel like? I am from a world whose geography my children know better than I, from a quiet valley where I am the proprietor and world authority of its small wonders. Her book has inspired poetry writing in classrooms everywhere. In addition to the poetry reading, each student can be asked to contribute their favorite line from their poem to a class poem.
After a few people have shared, ask for new hands. That's perfectly okay, because this poem is personal and particular to the poet, not the audience. I will also ask students to consider where she ends lines and how she plays with the white space on the page. A man can hardly ask to be from more. The key is making this as specific and personal as possible. I am from those moments— snapped before I budded — leaf-fall from the family tree.
It is very rare to complete a poem in one sitting! I am from representation of religion, or lack of it. Students can then go on to peer review, revise, polish and publish their pieces. Asking students these questions will help us identify how her choices in structure help to contribute to the overall meaning. I am from the catnip plant in the garden whose triangular leaves I remember as if they are my own. Fill in each blank with items from your list. The document is on page 10 of the link. Scribed down before this age, they waited for our family tree to grow me.
Rhythm and sound devices still important, but do not sacrifice a good image for a rhyme! I have scanned in my own and will display it on the SmartBoard. Where I'm From Where Are You From? What does it smell like? I first ask students to read the poem quietly. This feels more personal to them. My highly structured students, who usually think in black and white and are very linear, struggle with the freedom of poetry; the non-structured writing. How might our identities change depending on where we are? For these poems, this is the most important step for providing good feedback.
To help students get started with thinking about where they are from and to help structure their thinking, I give them an I am From graphic organizer that I created. I want students to try to hear her words. Under my bed was a dress box spilling old pictures, a sift of lost faces to drift beneath my dreams. This seems like a long time for prewriting, but I think it is an extremely important step. To end class, I will ask students to get out a piece of paper and answer this prompt: Please reflect on our reading of Lyon's poem. Upper-elementary students should be able to complete poems independently, and can begin to use figurative language to extend the images in their poems.
Black, glistening, it tasted like beets. This demonstrates a students ideas. Brainstorm as many samples of imagery from your childhood. From the finger my grandfather lost to the auger, the eye my father shut to keep his sight. The teacher uses columns one per sense to list ideas on the board. I am from those moments— snapped before I budded — leaf-fall from the family tree. Post-Writing Reflection Share your poem with your team.
I stumbled across this document a couple years ago and I give it to students so we have a set of norms for reading and writing poetry. Check it out if you are interested in other types of poems that make connections to home. After I project the Criteria for Judging Poetry, we talk about it. Lesson Extension: To build these lists into poems, students will pick out the images and details that are the most meaningful to them. My lesson plan for this study is posted below.