In one of the assignments for our storytelling unit, students compose an I am From poem based loosely on George Ella Lyon’s “Where I’m From”. We includes a fun line that I cannot wait to read. You record the phrases you heard most as a child in your home. I love reading these. I laugh out loud. I glean so much wisdom. I think about these lines as I fall asleep.
I read these lines from one class:
You don’t want to grow up too fast. Treat others how you want to be treated. Mind your own business. I love you. Do what needs to be done. Lead, follow, or get out of the way. School comes first. Listen to your mother. It is what it is. Clip your toenails. Try your best. Always do what you love. The world is your oyster. You’re smarter than you think. Make good choices. I’ll tell you when you’re older. Don’t tear people down to bring yourself up. Don’t forget your roots. Enjoy the shade. Do good things.
But my favorite came from this one poem from a student with a rich Italian heritage. A mother said this: Tutto Amore, let’s go find something new together. She took the child by the hand to go find the new thing. I imagine this staved off boredom or hunger while waiting for the great Italian feast in the kitchen. I imagine the joy of turning to simply go find something new together. Would they hunt for something in nature? Would they pick out a book? I think of what it means to take someone by the hand to find something new together.
We record the words that surrounded our childhoods and talk about how we carry them into adulthood.