Reflection: Trust and Respect Cornerstone "Where I'm From" Responding in Writing - Section 5: Showing, Not Telling

 

This assignment asks students to do something personal.  Something hard.  In some cases, something bitterly hard. The first day that we read this poem, one of my first hour students came up to me and gave me a hug out of nowhere.  This assignment touches students right where it hurts. Right where it makes them feel. 

 

That means that it's critical that you, as the teacher, also do the assignment.  It means that you have to be real. And I don't know about you, but 'life for me ain't been no crystal stair.'  My poem, focuses on the setting of where I grew up, the middle of the desert.  It's easy to talk about the smell of the monsoon rain as it hits the creosote bushes.  (Best smell EVER.)  It's easy to talk about the chicken and dumplings my mom made.  It's not so easy to talk about the afghan my grandmother made me that is still at my mom's house that will probably be lost to me forever.  How do I put that pain into language?  Through a simile or metaphor. 

 

The most painful parts of our memories? That's what we put into figurative language.  The most wonderful parts of our memories? That's what we use alliteration for. 

 

 

  Building Relationships by Being Real
  Trust and Respect: Building Relationships by Being Real
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Cornerstone "Where I'm From" Responding in Writing

Unit 7: Analyzing and Crafting Original Poems with George Ella Lyon’s “Where I’m From”
Lesson 5 of 8

Objective: Students will be able to produce writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. This is done by analyzing a poet's use of language, generating ideas for an original poem, and revising details to include figurative language and poetic devices.

Big Idea: Poetry is the exhilarating and heartbreaking act of creating art with language.

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