Persona-poems make a good in-class writing assignment at the beginning of
term when students are just getting acquainted with each other. Students
bring in photos or small momentos, collect pictures from magazines, and/or
draw their own pictures of things which are self-representative. This
becomes the basis for their poem and follow-up collage.
- In small groups or together as a class, look at the example poem about
"Kate Thompson" and discuss the structure of the eight lines. What parts of
speech or groupings of words form each line?
||By Leslie Opp-Beckman
||= name of the author of the poem
||= first name/nickname of the person in the poem
|| tall, energetic, happy, intelligent
||= 4 adjectives which
describe the person
||mother of Danny
||= X of Y
formula, about an important relationship to the person
||who loves music, books, and fresh air
||= 3 things s/he loves
||who is afraid of President Bush, spiders, and heights
3 things that scare her/him
||who wants to see Latin America, the end of poverty, and
||= 3 things s/he wants to see
||resident of this moment
||= resident of...a place or time or concept
||= last name of the person in the poem
- Using the template (below), students can work alone and write about
themselves, or work in pairs and write about their partners.
Justify right, center or left for different effects.
Title of Poem:
___________________, ___________________, ___________________, ___________________
___________________ of ___________________
who loves ___________________, ___________________ and ___________________
who is afraid of ___________________, _______________ and ___________________
who wants to see ___________________, _____________ and ___________________
resident of ______________________________________
Follow-Up Activities (or Assessment)
Students finish their collages, including the poem.
Persona-poems make good wall posters and/or a class anthology.