It’s the beginning of another school year—time to get to know your students and to warm them up to writing by having them write about themselves. Thus, the “Who am I?” poem, a poetry template that uses the list poem format to write a description of self.
So what is the template?
- Stanza 1 topic: the writer’s relationships
- Stanza 2 topic: roles relating to activities that are central to whom the writer is
- Stanza 3 topic: roles that relate to things the writer enjoys doing
- Stanza 4 topic: the most important thing to the writer about whom he or she really is
- Get out a piece of paper and write the headings for topics 1-4 across the top.
- Take a few minutes to brainstorm listing descriptions of roles or activities appropriate to each topic.
- Read through the lists and highlight a few items in each column that you would like to include in your list poem.
Remember that this is a list poem, so it is not necessary to provide a lot of introduction or connectors for the items included in the poem.
Also, list poems are a free verse form of poetry. Options to emphasize words or phrases and indicate shifts in topic include spacing and line breaks.
Now, write the poem following the template and leaving one line of space between each stanza.
Read the poem over to yourself and make any corrections or revisions then share it: with your class, your writing partners, or here on the blog.
In the classroom you might want to incorporate this exercise into a visual literacy project and have your students each make a poster featuring his or her poem. Extend it further by having your students present their posters to the class, reading their poems aloud then explaining why they made the choices they did in producing their posters, and taking questions. Thus you will be able to make a baseline speaking assessment as well.
My Poem (With apologies: I could not figure out how to keep the poem’s indentations when uploading it to WordPress.)
Who am I?
Embroiderer of enchantment.
Daughter of the King.