Friday, April 20, 2012

Where I'm From poems

The free verse poem we are writing this week helps us each answer the question, "where am I from?" using imagery from our childhoods.  What we have discovered is that our childhood memories and experiences are what shape who we are today. Therefore, we are from much more than just the place where we live or were born. Our poems are inspired by the original poem by George Ella Lyon.

We used these categories to brainstorm:

Place of your birth
Pets you owned or other animals
Ordinary items around your house
Plants in your home or yard
Family traditions or tendencies
Things people always said to you
Special names for yourself or others in your family
Product names or items you liked or used all the time
Foods you ate all the time
Foods you ate on special occasions
Secret hiding places
What you learned in school or church
Life experiences that shaped you
TV shows or songs/artists that were always playing
A smell you recall from childhood

Here's Mrs. Jackson's  example:

I’m from Far-Mor and Far-Far,
From presents on Christmas Eve,
From Swedish meatballs and Swedish fish.

I’m from Granny Clyde and Grandpa Manuel,
From go carts, trampolines, metal mailboxes,
and a Georgia accent that’s too heavy to carry home.

I’m from fifteen streets in eleven years:
Mallory, Donald, Cherry, Willowbranch,
and eventually Oak, where I put down my roots.
I’m from moving
Where my father fancied,
Always on the river-side
Where I could be barefoot on the banks of the creek
Collecting tadpoles and later, freeing frogs.

I’m from the figs in the yard,
the outside sueded and brown,
the inside pink and slimy,
--I never ate them.
I’m from magenta azaleas,
and the stifling stench of sulfur water sprinklers.
I’m from the tart, fuzzy, violet-striped flowers in my yard
that I ate when I wanted Cheetos.
My mom said no: You’ll spoil your dinner.

I’m from sitting on my front steps, bricked and mossy
chewing grape bubble gum,
My hair rolled into buns like Princess Leia.

I’m from under the pink dotted canopy where I awoke each morning,
A ballerina music box spinning on my nightstand.
I can still hear my mother’s voice:
“Morgan, wake up.  It’s the seven o’clock whistle.”
I’m from that sound,
A low, sweet sound like a train pulling the day behind it;
A sound I thought she created
just      for      me.

 Not only will you write the poem, you'll add a cover page that highlights the literary techniques you've chosen to use. You should use the rubric as a checklist. Click here for the full rubric that you can print at home, if needed. See our sample cover sheets below. You will earn a separate grade for the cover sheet so don't forget to check the back side of the rubric and the notes you took when we taught you how to do text boxes, word art, and graphics in a Word document.  Students may sign up for extra computer time, if needed.