Taking A Stand....part deux

taking a stand, language arts, 5th grade treasures, california treasuresOur current language arts unit is called "Taking A Stand" and is about different people who stand up for what they believe in.  The reading is really quite interesting and the students have really connected with this theme.  So I thought I would take a page out of my own book and do a little writing project we did last year....but with a few changes.

I had the students think about a cause that they were passionate about and wanted to "take a stand" for.  These causes ran the gamut in my room.  Everything from standing up to bullying to shortening the school day made the list.  Once students decided upon their stand, we did a guided writing of an "I am" poem.  The poem was written from the point of view of the person taking the stand.  So all lines of the poem were not autobiographical, rather in character of someone who believed in the cause.  You can find the form for the "I am" poem at this website here.

teaching in room 6, blog, upper grade, reading, writing, langauge arts
Then, and here is where it changed from last year, we headed to the computer lab, with the above mentioned website.  What is awesome about that website is that the form of the "I am" poem is there, with blank type in boxes.  The students simply typed in their own words, printed, and viola.....an instant poem!  This was SO much faster than them hand-writing it out.  It took less than 30 minutes for this to be completed...and I loved it!  Even if you only have access to one or two computers, putting the students on there one at a time will be well worth it.  The only downside is that there is no save feature, so they must print out before they log out or all will be lost.

The students then created caricatures of those people taking a stand.  This year the kids really got into these characters.   The clothing was so geared towards forwarding the cause and letting the viewers know what it was.  I was so impressed by these little people!  Here are a few of them.

I LOVE this one.  He was taking a stand for teachers and saying they should get better pay.  I love the shirt, the pencil pants, and the sleeves with all the books on it.  So in cute!

This girl was taking a stand and asking people to keep the beaches clean.  Look at the clothing and shoes...perfectly in character!

And all of these were posted up, looking like they are taking a stand at a protest.
stephanie at teaching in room 6 blog, upper grade, 5th grade

If you would like to do this in your room, here is a 4 point rubric for you to use (the same one I used). 

Have you done an "I am" poem in your class before?  What did you use it for?


  1. Love this idea:) Love how creative your kiddos got not only with their pics but what they were taking a stand for:) They turned out great:)

    4th Grade Frolics

    1. Thanks Tara! They really did have such different causes that they were writing about this year. I was really pleased with the creativity of my class :)

  2. We are doing one this week. We are publishing a classbook and I want to include it in their classbook, plus a biography poem is on our assessment.

  3. LOVE this, Steph - ALL of it - the causes, the art, the presentation ... SO creative! I think my students would really enjoy doing something like this - and it's perfect for my art/poetry integration.

    Runde's Room

  4. Love this idea! It is awesome to see kids taking a stand. It really needs to be done and I am glad they get to do it in a fun way! These pictures are fantastic!

  5. Thanks for the creative idea including the links and your rubric. Will likely try this for one of our persuasive pieces. MANY thanks!!

  6. I would love it if you could attach the label format you used to grade the papers...that is genius!

  7. The links will not work. :( What is the website called?

  8. The link isn't working anymore.

  9. Here is a link that might work for you! http://freeology.com/worksheet-creator/poetry/i-am-poem/


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