Big Deal Media

K-12 Technology

Jan 15, 2019 2019-01-15

Digital Learning • Learning Support

Initiative Sharing Voices of Diversity

The I Am From Project was started by retired teacher and author Julie Landsman, who loves poetry and believes in its power to change the world, and freelance writer and teacher George Ella Lyon, who served as Kentucky Poet Laureate (2015–2016) and is particularly interested in the poetry of witness. They started the project as a way to celebrate diversity at a time when the nation is divided by hatred and fear. Their central goals are to help people of all ages and backgrounds use Lyon’s “Where I’m From” poem as a prompt to write about experiences that shape them, to bring these voices together in community, to get them heard locally, and to create a national “river of voices and images,” reminding the people of America that diversity is the country’s origin and strength. They encourage people to take the prompt wherever their art leads them—to invent their own ways of working with groups, classrooms, community and senior centers, libraries, and other gathering places. The project’s website offers suggestions and resources for teaching, organizing, and writing on the theme of “Where I’m From,” as well as ideas for “Where I Am Going” and other list poems. Teachers and students can explore the poems published on the website from around the country and beyond. They’ll see where this theme of the nation’s great diversity has lead others, from videos to artwork to photography (in Resources).

Cultural Awareness Reading/English/Language Arts Civic Literacy Arts

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