Poetry is a delicate writing practice that can tap deeply into creativity. “I Am…” poetry is inspired by George Ella Lyon’s poem, Where I’m From. This form of poetry can push your students to open up and express who they are and where they come from. It can also be an excellent technique for practicing descriptive writing. Here are 18 “I Am…” poem activities that you can try with your students.
1. Read Where Are You From?
This book can be an excellent catalyst for your “I Am…” poetry unit. It can spark creative ideas for your students to include in their poems. They can realize that responses to “Who are you?” or “Where are you from?” can be metaphorical too.
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2. I Am Me Poem
I am Rebecca. I am a curious adventurer. I am from Thai and Canadian parents. This poem provides a template with a list of built-in prompts (“I am…” & “I am from…”). Learning about these more personal details can strengthen the classroom community.
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3. I Am From Poem
This poem template includes the prompt “I am from…”. However, the response need not exclusively represent a place. It can include food, people, activities, smells, and sights. Your students can get creative with this one.
Learn More: The Curriculum Corner
4. I Am & I Wonder Poem
Here’s another poem template with additional writing prompts. Contrary to the previous template, this version also includes: “I wonder…”, “I hear…”, “I see…”, and more.
Learn More: Live Worksheets
5. I Am Someone Who Poem
This poem is framed by an “I am someone who…” prompt. Each line has a different prompt for your students to reflect on e.g., “I am someone who hates…”, “I am someone who tried to…”, “I am someone who never forgets to…”.
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6. I Am Unique Poem
This poetry activity was designed for your younger students who don’t quite have the skills to write a complete poem. They can fill in the blanks including their name, age, favorite food, and other details.
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7. Acrostic Poem
Acrostic poems use the first letter of each poetry line to spell something. Your students can write one using their name’s letters. They can write the introductory line, “I am…”. Then, the words written in the acrostic can complete the statement.
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8. Cinquain Poem
Cinquain poems have a specified number of syllables for each of their lines; 2, 4, 6, 8, & 2 syllables, respectively. Your students can write one with the starting line, “I am…”. The following lines can then be complete with descriptive, action, and feeling words.
Learn More: Miss Winny Tang
9. Beginning/End Of The Year Poem
Your students can write an “I Am…” poem at the beginning and end of the year. They can recognize how the adventure of life has changed how they see themselves.
Learn More: Two Writing Teachers
10. Artistic Display
Any of the above poems can be transformed into these artistic displays in your classroom. After your students complete their rough drafts, they can write the finished product on white cardstock, fold the sides, and then decorate!
Learn More: Proud To Be Primary
11. Who Am I? Animal Riddle
Your students can choose their favorite animal and brainstorm some facts about it. They can compile these facts into a riddle that will require the reader to guess the animal. You can check out the pig example above!
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12. Who Am I? Advanced Animal Riddle
If you teach older students, then perhaps their riddle poems warrant more details. They can include the type of animal (e.g., mammal, bird), physical description, behavior, range, habitat, diet, and predators in this more advanced poem.
Learn More: Mongabay Kids
13. I Am A Fruit Poem
These poems don’t stop at animals. Your students can write an “I Am…” poem about their favorite fruit. These can consist of physical, smell, and taste descriptions of their chosen fruit. They can also add a drawing to pair with their poetry.
Learn More: The Edible Schoolyard Project
14. Concrete Poetry
Concrete poems are written in the shape of an object. Your students can write their “I Am…” poems in a body shape or object shape that they feel best represents them.
Learn More: The Room Mom
15. Push Pin Poetry
This push-pin poetry exercise can make a nice community display. You can set up a poem template of “I am…” and “I am from…” on your classroom bulletin board. Then, using paper slips of words, your students can build an “I Am” poem using push pins.
Learn More: ResLife Crafts
16. I Am From Project
Your students can share their writing with the I Am From Poetry Project. This project was created to showcase poems about self-identity and expression to foster an inclusive society.
Learn More: I Am From Project
17. Listen to I Am Me
The difference between songs and poetry is that songs are paired with music. So, a song is a musical poem. Willow Smith created this beautiful song about not seeking validation from others about who you are. Your students can listen to it to inspire their own sense of self-expression.
Learn More: Willow Smith
18. All About Me Poetry Set
This set consists of 8 different types of poems for your students to practice writing. All poems are part of the self-identity/expression theme, “All About Me”. It includes a template for students to write “I Am…”, acrostic, autobiographical poems, and more.
Learn More: Read Write Grow With Mrs K