Finding a Rhyme and a Reason

Embark on a journey of teaching and learning with Ms. Hayes' class at Georgetown K-8, Savannah, Georgia

Where I’m From Identity Portraits

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After viewing this video, we invite you to read, in their entirety, our poems inspired by George Ella Lyons in the post below. Check back to hear us read excerpts aloud!

by posted under Literary Connections | 7 Comments »    
7 Comments to

“Where I’m From Identity Portraits”

  1. June 18th, 2013 at 1:43 PM      Reply marianpayel Says:

    Cute and inspiring activity!! I’m an ESL teacher from Argentina. I’ll show this to my older students and try to get them engaged to write some poems themselves. Thanks for sharing!

  2. July 9th, 2013 at 7:58 PM      Reply msnicholson Says:

    I have done this poem with my grade 7/8s a few times and am always astounded by their final pieces of writing. I have never thought about doing this in correlation with visual artwork and think the identify portraits your students created are beautiful. How do you introduce this to the class? I’d love to use a similar activity at the start of the new school year, and would love to hear any advice that you have.

    • August 9th, 2013 at 3:59 PM      Reply Ms. Hayes Says:

      My apologies for the delayed response! I first ask my students to answer the question, “Where are you from?” It’s ill-defined: not a lot of guidance and no rubric. Most often the responses are very simplistic – city, hospital, street address. Then I tell them that I want them to respond in a more poetic way that using sensory words to help us see, taste, feel, touch, and hear where they are from. That leads to a reading of Lyon’s poem and other models that emulate it.

      Once the poems are finished, shared, and celebrated, I talk a litte about the structure and symmetry of the human face. I encourage them not to get to uptight about it, but some always do. This summer, I outlined more faces than usual then had them add their poems. I emphasis that we are not coloring (shading;) we are writing! We add the poems, initials, text!!!

      I was inspired by an artist that I worked with years ago during a summer writing project.

      Let me know if this helps 🙂

  3. September 3rd, 2013 at 2:32 PM      Reply Asia Says:

    This was create of in all ways i love the idea put in this create thought. :)!!!!!!!!!!

  4. September 20th, 2013 at 2:22 PM      Reply msnicholson Says:

    Our class was inspired by yours. Here is our work put together:


    • September 20th, 2013 at 8:11 PM      Reply Ms. Hayes Says:

      Ms. Nicholson, you have made my day! I’m crying tears of joy. Wish I could read every word. I’m adding this to my blog. Let me know if that’s not okay. Tell your students that I’m celebrating this accomplishment with them, and I’m glad to have been a part of the inspiration 🙂

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Ms. Hayes, Academic Coach

Georgetown K-8

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