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Art & Writing Projects from WritingFix: "I Come From..." poems and Self-Portraits

A Writing and Art Project from WritingFix
Writing Project: I Come From... Poems Art Project: Self-Portraits

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The Writing Lesson:
I Come From... Poems

This writing and art project was authored by Northern Nevada teacher Sandra Young. This page contains the lesson plan for the writing portion of this lesson. Click here to view the accompanying art lesson plan.

Below is what the final student art product might look like. Click here to read Henry's poem that accompanies his self-portrait, as well as two other primary students' I Come From... poems.

(Third-grader Henry shows off his self-portrait.)

Sandra's Lesson Overview:

Students will identify the important people, places, and things in their lives. Then, students will have the opportunity to determine and explain why these “nouns” are an important part of their lives as they compose an original poem.

Lesson Materials:

Writing Lesson Instructions:

  1. Read one or both of the literary selections. Identify the people, places and things important to the characters in the stories. List them on the board or chart paper. Discuss why they are important to the other people.

  2. Distribute the graphic organizers. Students list in the appropriate columns the important people, places, and things in their own lives.

  3. Return again to graphic organizers and have students note why the listed nouns are important to them and/or what they do with them that makes them special.

  4. Students begin writing. Encourage them to organize their people places and things in an order that has meaning to them. Each sentence should begin with, I come from…. See samples below, or you can print these writing samples.

  5. Discuss and ending statement that will tie the paper together.

  6. Edit with the students before final copy is made. Children may do their own writing or teacher may choose to type each piece.

Some Teaching "Hints" from this Lesson's Author:

  • Combine this art and writing project for a Mother’s Day gift. The portrait could be a portrait of mother and child.

Revised and Edited Student Samples:

I Come From...
by Joanna, first grade

I come from stuffed animals.
I come from a blue dog named Ox.
I come from my bike.
My bike is yellow with a bell on it.
I come from my new doll.
I have three tiny little dolls.
I come from Polly Pocket.
I change the little clothes on her.
I come from my soccer ball.
I kick my blue soccer ball.
I come from my movie.
I watch The Last Unicorn.
I come from my house.
I have a two story blue and white house.
I come from the forest.
I hear birds singing in the wind.
I come from Dad!
We wrestle together.
I come from Mom!
We like to play Candyland.
I come from my sister.
We like to play Pet Shop and Polly Pocket.
I come from all these wonderful people, places, and things that I love.


I Come From...
by Jack, second grader

I come from my green, white, and red fire trucks
that I always play with.
I come from my ambulance.
I always park at my firehouse.
I come from my police car
that is always at my police station.
I come from my Ford GT
that goes really fast.
I come from the firehouse
where I look at fire tools.
I come from school.
I learn new stuff and draw fire trucks.
I come from my home.
I play with toys and run with my race dog.
I come from the park.
I go down the curvy slide.
I come from my friend’s house.
We play Hot Wheel cars.
I come from Dad and Mom.
I go to races where we see my favorite car.
I come from firemen.
I talk to them about fires.
I come from Alex.
I chase him around the house when he steals things.
I come from these special things, special places,
and special people that are all special to me.

I Come From...
by Henry, third grade writer

I come from a mom who plays Monopoly with me when she gets a break from work.
I come from my dad who reads Narnia books to me
and my brother before bed.
I come from Grandpas S. who watches western movies
with me after lunch.
I come from Grandma S. who lets me sit on her lap
in her special black leather chair.
I come from Grandpa W. who jogs with me in New York.
I come from Grandma W. who reads lots of books with me
on the flowered couch in the living room.
I come from my cowboy hat that I wear outside
on sunny days.
I come from my bathtub that I take baths in
because it is relaxing.
I come from my sneakers that I wear
while running really fast.
I come from Colorado
where I was born.
I come from my cat that I play with
when I’m not tired.
I come from my house
Where I play Monopoly
by myself.
I come from my room where
I sleep and play with my stuffed animals.
I come from a bathroom
where I take baths in the bathtub.
I come from my backyard
where I roll in the grass and play on my small basketball hoop.
I come from a park where
I play with my brother.
I come from all these special things that I play with and love.

I Come From….
by Lydia, fourth grade poet

I come from many places, people, and things.
I come from Grandma M. and Aunt Barb who support me in all my performances and who always make me feel proud of myself.
I come from my__ Nana that makes me precious quilts with memories inside all the strands of string she stitches.
I come from my mom and dad who hold me tight through tough times so I don’t feel left alone in the open world.
I come from my bed that keeps me warm and into my other world when I dream about cookie boats and ice-cream lakes.
I come from my backyard with the birds singing while I’m swinging on my old and creaky swing set and I feel like I’m flying on an airplane.
I come from my kitchen where the warm and sweet and scents of pancakes enter my mind like I enter theirs.
I come from Le Roy, the town that made the squishy and colorful substance called Jell-O.
I come from the basketball court where I can make my parents proud by doing a swish into the strong netted hoop.
I come from dance class where I can express myself in every way by curling into a ball, ready to do a somersault.
I come from my dog Henry who I know is there to play with me and makes me smile with all his funny moves that he does when he is enjoying his dog bones.
I come from my puppy and my baby blanket where my puppy has been held in my arms ever since I was a little girl.
All of these things shape my life, and will forever and ever.

(Click here to open/print Lydia and two of her classmates' poems.)

I Come From
by Kaitlan, fifth grade writer

I come from a warm summer's day...
at the rugged rocks
with the clear water running through my toes.

I come from my ruby red dress...
waltzing around the room like a princess
with my brown teddy bear.

I come from my best friend Cameron...
with his monstrous backyard
where we lay and watch the bright colors turn to dark.

I come from a warm softball field...
with a crack of a bat and a smack of a glove
running, out of breath, with every step I take.

I come from a slippery sleeping bag...
out in the wilderness
where the only thing covering me is nature's beauty.

I come from a blue stage...
lit with fun and laughter
and a bright spotlight shining on me
while I sing my favorite songs.

I come from my friends and family...
who are there for me through thick and thin
with a warm smile on their faces
ready to warm my heart.

(Click here to open/print Kaitlan and three of her classmates' poems.)

WritingFix Safely Publishes Students from Around the World! In 2008, we first began accepting students samples from teachers anywhere who use this lesson. Hundreds of new published students now go up at our site annually!

If you adapt this page's lesson and want to post samples, we have set up a posting page for you to independently share up to three of your samples. Click to post; you must already be a member of the blog/ning in order to post.

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