Enclosed are a template and models of an “I Am” poem and a corresponding memoir moment. I ask my students to write the “I Am” poem and a memoir in tandem so that they will be able to frame the two mounted side by side if they like. The poem and memoir have to be about similar topics. In the models that I provided here, you will see that the “I Am” poem focuses on baseball aspirations and the one-page memoir is about a baseball moment. In the memoir, I have used a variety of rhetorical techniques. As I deconstruct the memoir with my students, I point out: repetition; rhetorical questions; a variety of sentence lengths and structures; a time break; dialogue; dashes; words in a different language; ending a sentence with a word and beginning the next sentence with that word; all capitals for emphasis; italics for inner thoughts; dropping the coordinating conjunction in a list; et cetera.
It would NOT be inappropriate to add a dramatic reading of the memoir as a follow-up activity. I like to take the measure of my class. If I think the students will sit still and be respectful, I do this. If not, I put the students into groups of three or four and ask them to share within the small group.