An interesting way for students to get to know one another, or any other group of people, is through poetry. The “I Am From” poem format was invented by Dr. Amy Barnhill based on a poem she liked. I have adapted it to suit my liking. Please feel free to copy the poem format for your use.
I Am From the Path I Came
I am from ghosts and gun powder,
White roses and Tarot cards.
I am books and withering walls,
Dog hair and Holy Bibles.
I am from Texas and dreams newly dreamed
And the blood of one man’s last stand,
Dilapidated picnic tables
And the cool shade of the pecan tree.
I am from chalked hopscotch squares
And leapt cracks in sidewalks.
I am the water from the sprinkler
And the pools where children play.
I am Marilyn’s faith,
Dennis’s farmer’s hands,
Ms. Lily’s ferocity,
And Susan’s love.
I am from “can’t ain’t never did nothin’”
And “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,”
“What’s for dinner?” and “wash up.”
Root beer floats, peach cobbler, and sweet tea,
Tamales, beer bread, and spiced pecans
On hideous china and paper plates.
Kitchens, baking, mixing, tasting, I am here.
Old shoeboxes and scrapbooks, I am here.
Black and white photos and genealogies, I am here.
Cotton crops and O’Connor’s convergence, I am here.
I am the daughter of an Irish farmer,
And Janie Reb washing grey uniforms.
I am German aristocracy and refugee.
A colonist taming the Southern lands,
And a pilgrim looking for liberty.
Eight items found in your home:
One place and two intangible objects:
Two items found in your yard:
Four items found in your neighborhood:
Five relatives and the legacies they left:
Four sayings used in your family:
Eight foods or items found in the kitchen related to meals:
Six places, things, or actions where you store your memories of the past:
One literary allusion where you store memories of the past:
Five references to your ancestors, who they were and/or what they did: