I had the students think about a cause that they were passionate about and wanted to "take a stand" for. These causes ran the gamut in my room. Everything from standing up to bullying to shortening the school day made the list. Once students decided upon their stand, we did a guided writing of an "I am" poem. The poem was written from the point of view of the person taking the stand. So all lines of the poem were not autobiographical, rather in character of someone who believed in the cause. You can find the form for the "I am" poem at this website here.
website. What is awesome about that website is that the form of the "I am" poem is there, with blank type in boxes. The students simply typed in their own words, printed, and viola.....an instant poem! This was SO much faster than them hand-writing it out. It took less than 30 minutes for this to be completed...and I loved it! Even if you only have access to one or two computers, putting the students on there one at a time will be well worth it. The only downside is that there is no save feature, so they must print out before they log out or all will be lost.
The students then created caricatures of those people taking a stand. This year the kids really got into these characters. The clothing was so geared towards forwarding the cause and letting the viewers know what it was. I was so impressed by these little people! Here are a few of them.
|I LOVE this one. He was taking a stand for teachers and saying they should get better pay. I love the shirt, the pencil pants, and the sleeves with all the books on it. So in cute!|
|This girl was taking a stand and asking people to keep the beaches clean. Look at the clothing and shoes...perfectly in character!|
And all of these were posted up, looking like they are taking a stand at a protest.
Have you done an "I am" poem in your class before? What did you use it for?