Identity Poem: Using Literature Models for Inspired Writing!

Grade Levels
6th - 11th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
7 pages


Are you tired of the same old “I Am” poems? If yes, then try something new: get to know your students and engage them with this Inspired Writing lesson! This is a great activity for your return Back To School.

With Inspired Writing, students use the texts they read as models for their own writing. Each lesson shows students the connections between the literature they read and the writing that they can do. This lesson provides students with inspiration from classic poems, and they imitate characteristics of the texts for their own authentic writing.

In this lesson, students read poems from classic American authors and then write poems about themselves. To begin, they read poems including Langston Hughes’s “I, Too,” Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing,” and Barbara Kingsolver’s “Naming Myself.” If desired, find a separate lesson for the reading of the poems here:

American Voices Through Poetry

After reading the poems, students respond to creative writing prompts that require them to "think outside the box.” Finally, they use their pre-writing to author a poem about themselves as individuals, as members of the class, and as citizens of the United States. Additionally, this lesson incorporates all strands of the Common Core English Language Arts (ELA) Standards.

Enjoy this lesson as a freebie; it includes activity hand-outs and a sample student poem. Want an ENHANCED version of this lesson? Here is a version with handouts to guide students through the writing process, a rubric, and more student samples:

ENHANCED Identity Poem Lesson

Want to engage your auditory and visual learners? Here are lessons using non-print texts:

American Voices Through Art

American Voices Through Music

Or, you can save with a bundle, getting ALL of the lessons described above in an entire three-week unit here:

American Voices Through Poetry, Music & Art

Meaningful and Memorable English Language Arts by © OCBeachTeacher

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Limited to use by purchaser only.

Group licenses available.

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Total Pages
7 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.


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