Friday, March 1, 2019

I'm From...#SOL19

I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers Annual March Slice of Life Story Challenge.  This year I decided to complete my slice of life challenge through the use of quickwrites.  By doing this, I hope to explore my own writing, identify problems my students may be experiencing with these quick bursts of writing, and show them authentic revisions in the writing process.

This quickwrite comes from Linda Rief's book and the poem, "Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyon.  I thought I would start the challenge by telling you a little bit about me. This is always a great quickwrite for students.

I’m From…

I'm from a dad who I disappointed
From the day I was born
And a mom who is one of the strongest women I know

I'm from Friday night trips to the library
And sharing bowls of popcorn
And butter-stained pages with my mom
She reading her book, and I reading mine

I'm from fried chicken Saturdays
And warm donut Sundays
Family vacations with my siblings all dressed alike
In Buster Brown stipes of green, yellow, red, and blue
No chance of us getting lost

I'm from a shared bedroom but separate sides
Divided by an imaginary line
She stays on hers, and I stay on mine
I'm from slipping on Pledge waxed floors
She calls it cleaning, and I call it sabotage

I'm from eight jelly donuts and innocent pranks
With the best friends ever
From paper routes and babysitting
And from behind the McDonald's counter
"Would you like fries with that?"
Saving money to buy clothes
And a way out of this small town

I'm from falling in love
and moving back home
Something I thought I would never do
Something I would never change

Welcome to a month of slicing. I look forward to sharing my space with all of you.


  1. I love this poem and learned about the original from Ralph Fletcher so many years ago. I had so much trouble writing my first one. It took a group of 6th graders to help me with my own. Thanks for sharing. I am looking forward to your posts this month!

  2. Leigh Ann, What a lovely way to kick off your slicing for the month! I do feel like I know you better!

  3. I've never written my own Where I'm From poem although I've shared the format with students and been inspired by theirs. I'm giving myself a challenge to write one for Poetry Friday/SOL this month. Eight jelly donuts and innocent pranks - I think there are some stories to be told there! I loved Linda Rief's first Quickwrite book (trying not to buy professional books, but I'm sorely tempted by this one)! I'mlooking forward to your quickwrites.

  4. Such a powerful poem! Your opening puts everything in perspective. Yes, I agree with Ramona that there are probably many stories in there! And thank you also for sharing your process of using quick writes. You and your students will benefit!

  5. I love these poems and reading yours was a treat- especially when I already recognized some of the references from past slices.

  6. Thanks for reminding me of The Quickwrite Handbook, which I bought but promptly got buried in a pile. This would be a good time to pull it out! I love sharing this poem format with students, and I have written many of my own over the years. So many wonderful lines in yours, Leigh Anne. I especially like "sharing bowls of popcorn and butter-stained pages with my mom". I can really picture the cozy companionship as you two read your books!

  7. I adore this post! Your honesty and voice shine through in this very first slice. I am also from friday night trips to the library with mom- reading books on the couch together. That first stanza was a punch in the gut. What a cool idea. Happy March. Looking forward to growing with you!

  8. This is a great way to let people know about you as well as ofering tidbits of what could become future slices.

  9. Oh my - I loved this - I have read so many I am from poems and get tired of them but you have captured the poetry of it. You paint little pictures that tell so much and beg to be expanded on. It is what I love about poetry the wanted to know more. What a wonderful way to start this month of writing. Thanks so much!

  10. Your "I come from" poem is beautiful. What a wonderful way to share who you are, the meaningful people and memorable moments form your childhood. Happy Writing!

  11. Great idea to start with a "I'm From" poem! I had fun varying this idea with having kids make their poems into Animoto videos. They were so moving! Some parents reached out to me and said they made them cry! Yours starts so powerfully and drew me in. I love Linda Rief's new Quickwrite book. So many great mentor texts and writing invitations. I'm so excited about reading your blog regularly again. I missed you!

  12. This is great, Leigh Ann! I can see where middle school students would really enjoy doing this at the beginning of a new school year. Some of what you wrote rang familiar tones with me. Perhaps it has something to do with our area of the country.

  13. I am from...I taught this poem for many years and wrote several of my own. No matter how well I thought I knew a student, I learned more about them from their poem. And, I learned more about you. Thanks for always being encouraging...I'll see you tomorrow

  14. This was beautiful. Just beautiful. What a wonderful way to start March off! I may use this poem as inspiration one day...I love the format. :) Welcome back, and cheers to another year of slicing!

  15. I love this form, definitely want to try it out myself. Love the image of the "butter stained pages" while reading with your mom!

  16. Love your poem Leigh Ann. Such a great way to kick off March. I really must try the form myself. We have some things in common. Isn't Linda Rief's book just wonderful! I hadn't thought of browsing it for March slicing ideas. Thank you!

  17. I love this poem. Your poem is full of nostalgia. I love your use of words to create sadness and joy.

  18. The I'm From prompt is a classic and it works every time. I've written mine over and over again. There are seeds for more poems in your poem. I want to know more about your mother who was strong and a companion to you while your father was disappointed.

  19. I just noticed that I am in your side bar, included with your teaching and writing friends. Warmed my heart immensely. xo