I learned about Kentucky's Poet Laureate, George Ella Lyon during a Genealogy Gems podcast a few months ago. When I heard her discuss her "Where I'm From" poem, I knew it was something I had to try writing. Not only was it something I wanted to do personally, it was something I wanted to share with 4th and 5th grade students as a Digital Learning Coach for the Lakeside Union School District.
People all over the world have been inspired by George Ella's poem and have written about their own life experiences. She suggests starting with a list about things you have seen, heard, smelled, tasted, felt, and experienced. That is what I had the students do. I told the students how amazing it is to know that there on no two people on this earth alike. We each have different experiences and see life a little differently. We have different ancestors, and different life experiences. That 's why it is such a great project. Even though we may live in the same city and go to the same school, our lives are all very different. Here is the template I had the students make their lists on. The teachers I worked with sent out an email blast to their student's parents to tell them about the project, plus students took their lists home to get family members to help jog their memories.
After the students created their lists, I gave them a template to start writing their free verse poem. Students looked on their planning sheets for their most powerful words, and the memories that they felt were most important. Next the students used their iPads to create a presentation either in Book Creator or iMovie. I was amazed how great the students did with their poems.
Here is my "Where I'm From" poem. Thanks to my father who always had a camera close by, I had amazing pictures to add to my project. It was created in Final Cut Pro.