Where We’re From


Ms. Banzil’s third grade class at PS 171 Peter G. Van Alst School is very well behaved. They’ve learned to collaborate, communicate, and respect one another’s voice in and out of class. Because of this simple fact, they are able to accomplish all lesson plan goals and often exceed them!

In this week’s lesson with CWP Teaching Artists Jacqueline Raymond and Moira-Jo Trachtenberg-Thielking, students created poems modeled after Renée Watson’s “Where I’m From”. After they finished their individual poems, they chose one of their favorite lines from their pieces, revised them, and copied them onto long strips of paper. As a desk group, students then decided upon an order for their lines in order to create a group poem. They then titled it.

Students are learning to identify elements of their personal and cultural identities, from both their lives in Queens and their individual heritages around the world. They are learning that “where they are from” can mean not only a place, but also that they are “from” all of their experiences: the food they eat, the games they play, and the people they love. Here is a draft of one of their community poems:

Summer Fun

I’m from cold, yummy icy tea
I’m from hoppy hopscotch
I’m from Play Station
and beanbag
I’m from imaginary world
la la TV land

Students authors:
Zahid Rehaan
Jada Aguirre
Karam Zahran
Thanzim Ahmed