Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Slice of Life - Where I'm From

I love participating in Slice of Life, started by Two Writing Teachers and writing a story, reflection, or musing at least once a week.

     It's been awhile since I used George Ella Lyon's beautiful poem, "Where I'm From", as a mentor text for my students.  My 6th graders are poetry fans, so I decided to pull it out again and share it with them.  To refresh my lesson ideas, I went to her website (click links above) and took a look at the background story of the poem and the poem itself.  I loved the videos she had included and decided that's how I would update the lesson, so I renewed my 6th graders' Animoto educational accounts.  I really enjoyed the final products.  I had some parents tell me at conferences last week that the videos made them teary-eyed.  That's the power of a poem!

     First, I made one myself so I could show the kids what the poem looked like in text and in video.  We talked about the "Where I'm From" template (there are templates available online), but I stressed that Lyon's poem and the template are guides - they didn't have to follow the pattern exactly.  We also talked about tone/mood, the music that would accompany the videos, and the themes they chose.  Mine was nostalgic, but theirs could be funny, lighthearted, or any other tone they wanted.  Here are a few of the results:

This was a great project for the beginning of the year, but it would also make a good one for a memoir unit later.


  1. So many sensory words and images that will always conjure up vivid memories for your students of their growing up years!
    LOVE the alliteration in the last portion of your exemplar animoto!

  2. What do they say about great minds? We did where I'm from this week. We didn't make animoto videos but I think that may be a great next step. Do you have your kids blogging yet? Are you on kidblog? I'd love to connect.