Poems and self portraits

This week at Lake International we worked on “I am” poems, and self portraits.  I discovered that when we started our poems, many students objected… because for some reason they think poetry is boring! We backtracked, and looked up some poetry slams for middle school.  Students were very inspired!  We also talked a lot about using interesting detail, and about descriptive language.  We found that when we re-wrote our poems, they were much better.  Maaliyah was the first to finish, and through sharing her poem, she was able to mentor the rest of the class.maaliyah


Maaliyah Taylor

I am from … homicide and women getting abused

From… not having a dad to help me with homework.

I am from being on lockdowns every day

And coming home at 6, when I got out at 2:15.

I am from where someone getting shot happens every day

I am from being diagnosed with ADHD

From Taylor and Hart

I am from happiness and love

And from hope

From trying again

I am from Christianity

From Combs and Bubby

From ribs and tacos

From falling down and getting up

And from standing up for what is right.

From being given a second chance.

I am from those moments in St Louis,  where we were at the bottom.



Students also did self portraits.  Crystavia traced hers twice, and created this amazing piece of art:


We have a new family from Iran, and they have amazing stories to share.  When I sat down and talked with Saaed, he was sure he had nothing interesting to say.  The more we talked, the more he revealed.  His early life was spent in a tent in the middle of the desert.  Wolves came out at night, and the hot sand was full of scorpions.  But he had so much fun too, playing with his brother, climbing the only tree around for miles, and using sticks to poke scorpion holes.


One thought on “Poems and self portraits

  1. What a telling and powerful poem from Ms. Taylor… this is so touching I just don’t have words… Work product like this really shows the difference YESS makes.


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